Setting the Stage – David Hare’s Skylight

Presented by the Troubadour Theatre Collective, and directed by Brenda Bazinet, the London Arts Project transformed their third floor space to Kyra Hollis’ apartment from David Hare’s Skylight.

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If you are not familiar with David Hare, I have attached a link to the 2015 BBC interview he did. (Just click on the highlighted name above.) It’s about an hour long, but in true BBC style, worth the listen.

If you are not familiar with Skylight, here’s a brief synopsis:

Kyra Hollis receives a visit from her former lover, Tom Sergeant. Will they, or won’t they, can they, or can’t they rekindle what they once had. (Of course I’m not going to give it all away. That’s for you to find out.)

The staging, and natural (unintended?) timing of summer twilight streaming through the windows provided an immediacy and sense of intimacy for what was before us. My preference is always to the small stage.

David Hare has this ability to use language to gut his characters down to their political truths. In Skylight, Hare provides another sensual dimension by having his central character, Kyra, cooking on stage. The authenticity of this particular time and space was pure joy to watch and smell.

As well as trying to figure out the technical cues of direction and timing that were put in place to pull this off. What phrasing was used as reminder to turn on hotpot; how far down in dialogue was timed to know when the pasta would be ready to achieve billowing steam in all its glory; how high can you turn up the frying pan so audience can smell and hear the onions frying, not burning; and how to simultaneously cut an onion, deliver your lines, and hope to goodness you don’t slice your finger. Each an example of perfect symmetry between the creative and technical.

Theatre at its very best should engage us through all our senses.

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