Faustus: That Damned Woman

22nd Jan 2020 - 4th Apr 2020

Book Tickets

Glass Menagerie Branding 40px

Ellen McDougall on The Glass Menagerie

Why did you want to direct this play?

The theatricality of the writing appealed to me strongly and I found the themes very moving - the idea that the beautiful things in life are often the most vulnerable.

What was your initial response to the play?

It is delicate and extremely powerful at the same time. The characters are very complex and detailed. It feels very truthful partly because it is deeply autobiographical.

What aspect of the play appeals to you most?

The relationships between the characters. The idea it is also about this very personal experience and a wider political moment - the depression of the 30s and the outbreak of devastating world war.

The Glass Menagerie is a memory play—both its style and its content are shaped and inspired by memory. How will this be brought to life on stage?

We will explore in rehearsals and the production how the intensity of a memory can be staged. It has informed he structure of the set design already and we will look at how memory might distort 'objective truth' in realising the scenes. The scenes represent an emotional truth so we aren't going to be confined to a naturalistic staging or performance style.

Williams is known for bringing a sense of theatricality to his plays and this is especially true of The Glass Menagerie. The original text has moments of projection, music and the use of a narrator. Are we to expect the same level of theatricality within this production?

Yes I am excited about following the impulse to explore an impressionistic approach to staging the play as suggested by the writer. We will no doubt deviate from his specific suggestions but his foreword presents them very clearly as an idea, an impulse, that may be followed, developed, expanded upon, by any director staging the play.

What can a person expect when they go to see The Glass Menagerie? What is the vision?

An intense detailed portrayal of a family torn apart; an impressionistic production that communicates the emotional experience rather than an objective factual account of a moment in history.

Finally, what would your advice be to someone thinking of becoming a director?

Read lots of stories - novels poems and plays Be engaged with people and the world around you Be interested in what motivates people to behave the way they do Try to be true to yourself to the way you see things rather than presenting work that you think people want to see.