Director Sarah Jayne Van Parys talks about her latest production, a collaboration with Alsop Drama.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with Alsop Drama on their comeback production, Witness for the Prosecution. They are a company with roots going back nearly 100 years and I’ve heard such good things from so many people within Liverpool about them.
I was in a production of Witness for the Prosecution over 10 years ago and have wanted to direct it ever since, so the opportunity to direct Alsop Drama’s version is one I’ve been really excited for.
As a group, we have all been in agreement that we want to put our own spin on this famous Agatha Christie play, and although the restrictions on the licence means we don’t have complete freedom, we decided to use a non-traditional method of staging to really immerse the audience of Hope Street Theatre within the action and are experimenting with points of view and how this can magnify and ‘alter the lens’ of the storyline and various characters journeys throughout the play.
We are really lucky to be working with the upcoming Set Designer Chris McCourt, a LIPA student who is already making waves across the North West with his inventive and daring design ideas. The design process has been really exciting so far, we have been changing our ideas and letting the design grow and change throughout rehearsals and from the beginning, decided we wanted to incorporate the ready-made design of the theatre space, The Hope Street Theatre, which is within the beautiful Masonic Hall on Hope Street.
For us both, it’s just as important for theatre to be created for certain specific spaces in terms of design, as it is for touring theatre to be able to adapt to each venue it visits, and we hope this version of Witness for the Prosecution doesn’t disappoint in this respect.
We also have a fantastic cast and crew involved and are really excited to show what we have been up to in rehearsals. We are so grateful to various local businesses who have welcomed us into their spaces to rehearse and to everyone who has already bought a ticket so far, to what appears to be a fast selling production.”