The latest play to be produced by The Minotaur Theatre Company is Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem. With rehearsals in full swing Venue met up with Director Ben Rodgers and Assistant Director Milli Bhatia along with the cast to find out why exactly “[they’re] trying to get a caravan in onstage.”
Jerusalem premiered with great success four years ago in London’s West End. The events of the play centre round St. Georges Day in a small town where the local waster Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron is facing eviction from his caravan by the local council authorities and is generally up to his track marks in trouble.
“The auditioning process took place before summer,” Rodgers tells Venue, “we had a whole host of people audition, and then we had a second batch of recalls which had different people auditioning for more specific roles, and gradually whittled it out and worked it out from there.”
The character of Rooster is definitely up for interpretation, Jonathan Moss will be playing him and comments that, “certainly in this production compared to the one that I’d previously seen Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron is a darker more involving character.”
Although with Rooster aside there’s still plenty of scope for interesting characters, as Michael Clarke explains: “My character is sort of a drop out lonely drug-addled guy who is a lot older than the other characters, which hopefully we’ll be able to achieve through makeup, costume and good acting.” Clarke will be playing Ginger and from the look of the rehearsals it seems that Bhatia’s hopes of a “darkly comic play” are justified.
There’s a great chemistry between the cast and directors, some of whom have worked alongside each other previously, which allows for a lot of room to make the character and script their own. In the few minutes Venue spent watching the rehearsals it quickly became obvious that everyone involved is having a great time, and I’m sure that audiences will do too.
The Minotaur Theatre Company’s Jerusalem will be showing in the UEA Drama Studio from October 17-19 so be sure to get a ticket!