SCAN spoke to the director and writer (Liv Burton) and lead actor (Alex Owens) of the upcoming Lancaster University Theatre Group original production of The Glass House.
What is The Glass House about?
LB: The Glass House is a modern fairy tale. It’s loosely about different perspectives, we see a lot of scenes from different points of view and we see a lot of characters from different characters’ perspectives. There’s this boy from many years ago who lost both of his parents and they were very wealthy. They were said to have inherited this mysterious ‘Glass House’ that the whole town knows as this place that everybody disappears to, and no one ever returns from. It’s supposed to be full of traps, illusions and drive you mad. Legend is that he went missing and he went up to live in this ‘Glass House’ and has been there ever since. Many years later this woman comes to town investigating local legends and stories and ends up getting stuck in the ‘Glass House’ and has to try and find a way out and solve the mystery of why the inheritor (Alex Owens’ character) is still there.
What are rehearsals like?
LB: Rehearsals are going well, we are in the final stage now so we are doing run-throughs. There are one or two physical sequences that we’ve got and they are coming along very nicely. They have been a lot of fun and we have gotten through everything on time, so now it’s just about tightening everything up in the last week.
AO: Rehearsals are good. This is the first time I have acted in five years, so it’s just getting to grips with lines. There are a lot of complex systems with regards to lines, because we do flash backs, and we repeat scenes from other perspectives. Perspective is a massive part of the play, you see a scene through one character’s eyes and then you will suddenly see the scene again with very similar dialogue, but not exactly the same because you’re seeing it through the other character’s eyes. So it has been interesting trying to work with that level of complexity.
What are you most looking forward to?
LB: Seeing the show, I’ve never written a full-length script before, so this is going to be very exciting for me. I am mostly looking forward to getting an audience in – everyone raises their game when you get an audience in so I think it’s going to work really nicely in the space.
AO: Actually performing the show. It’s been a lot of work, a lot of people have put in a lot of hours for this.
Have you face any challenges or worries through your rehearsal process?
LB: Our biggest worry from the beginning was making sure that things were clear enough for the audience, because it is told in a non-linear style and it has a very fragmented story line. So we wanted to make sure there were enough visual cues that the audience could still follow where things are supposed to resume from certain places and such. I think we have managed that, but that was probably the main challenge.
Who is your character?
AO: My character is called the inheritor; he’s quite a mysterious character in the play. He’s involved in most of the scenes, but you never truly know who he is. His main interaction is with Anna, but also another girl called Charlotte. It’s kind of about how those two inter-play with each other, and that’s what he is trying to process and deal with throughout the piece.
Have you faced any problems portraying your character in rehearsals?
AO: He is quite a complex character. He is a bit of an egomaniac, but at the same time there is a softer side to him and often, how the script is written, we will flick through time and space. So you will see him being harsh intimidating to one character, then soft and gentle and talking about love to another. He has these polar opposites, which I have to combine in the piece. So that has been quite a challenge for me.
The Glass House is showing at The Storey, 7:30pm on Monday – Wednesday Week 18 (6th – 8th March). Find out more at www.facebook.com/ lutgtheglasshouse/