Time for another cast spotlight! Nicholas Arnold plays James Kelly in our upcoming production of Rope – check out his thoughts on the show.
1. What first attracted you to Bygone Theatre and this production of Rope?
Since seeing Hitchcock’s “Rope” way back in the day, I promised myself that if I ever saw a production of Rope happening I would jump at the opportunity to be in it and low-and-behold, I see Bygone Theatre’s posting for it back in September. It was a no-brainer. I had to audition. And I was gunning for one of the killers from the very beginning. To me the play is an exciting an opportunity and challenge as an actor, taking place in one location with a very tense and gradual build to its climax. It was clear from previous works listed on their website that Bygone Theatre loved tackling plays that pose these sort of challenges for both the cast and their audiences. All of this convinced me that I had to audition.
2. What challenges have you faced/OR/ what is your favourite part of working on a site-specific play that runs in real time?
I think we’re starting to face these challenges now as a cast. It’s a complicated play with a lot of logistical planning required. When you are on the entire time, that can be a challenge in and of itself, but add drinking and eating to that as well as creating the natural atmosphere of a 1920s party and it becomes very complicated. It’s a delicate dance that we do and so pacing ourselves throughout that is something we are working hard to master. I definitely have my own personal challenges with my role as well, getting considerably more intoxicated as the evening progresses and losing my nerve to the point of insanity. It’s a work-out really. You leave rehearsals feeling like you just spent an hour or two in the boxing ring. Physically, you feel the effects that playing those scenes have on you. So it takes a bit of endurance.
3. What have you done to prepare for your role?
I researched the real of case of Leopold and Loeb extensively upon learning that I received the part. As well as general info about the 20s – what was going on at the time, politically and in and around the general setting. Aside from that, most of my preparation – if not all of it – comes from diligent reading and studying of the script. It’s all there in the lines. Everything I need to know about my character and everything my character needs to know about the others. So it just comes down to reading and reading and reading. I’ve read and studied my script more times than I can count and will continue to do so right up until opening night, and likely even during the run.
4. What has been your favourite part of the rehearsal process so far?
I’m enjoying getting to know the other cast members. They are an extremely talented bunch and its really enjoyable playing these scenes with them. They all fit into their roles so well. It’s fun to watch from the shadows – where I spend most of my time in the play 😉
5. Why should everyone come and see Rope?
What’s better than seeing an intense murder mystery play out in real time in a real 1920s house? This particular production of Rope is going to offer an intense sense of realism that you won’t find on any other stage. And this cast brings it, firing with guns blazing. They are intense and gritty with their delivery and I truly think the audience will love watching it as much as I love being in it. So come see it!