Mouth put some questions to Bernice Pike and Kelly McAuley; aside from co-founding the Red Cart Theatre Company, which has produced this new take on Richard Cameron’s play, they also star in the production.
ML: Setting up Red Cart Theatre must have been a huge gamble and step into the unknown – what made you decide to go for it and take that initial leap?
BP & KM: We never really considered it to be risky when we decided to start up Red Cart because we were 100% sure of our partner in crime. We have worked a lot together in the past so we know we are both very determined people who want to keep working in this industry. We have always taken every opportunity that has come our way and this idea was one we had no hesitations to act on. It has been an incredible learning experience in that it has been a huge eye opener as to what exactly is involved in putting on a show! There are so many things that have to be done behind the scenes that the audience (and often actors) don’t see or know about. But it has for the most part been running smoothly because we are lucky enough to have a hard working team behind us.
…productions that will appeal to a wide audience…
ML: What is the overall aim of Red Cart?
BP & KM: The aim of Red Cart is to put on productions that will appeal to a wide audience and to showcase new and emerging talent. We also want to produce work that speaks for women and offers vivid and captivating roles for actresses.
…these women’s’ stories need to be told…
ML: Is there a particular reason why you chose to produce Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down?
BP & KM: We chose Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down because we had read it on separate occasions, prior to the idea of Red Cart, and we just fell in love with the writing and the characters. With such poignancy and sincerity at its core, we thought these women’s’ stories need to be told and so it has been a real pleasure for us to be able to work with Cameron’s text. We wish to immerse the audience in the play’s cleverly woven world that first drew us in and believe it is a story that everyone can take something from.
…It is a lovely feeling to know that people support you…
ML: The production had a We Fund page and actually exceeded its target. How exciting is it to know that people, many of whom you don’t know, put their faith in you and the production?
BP & KM: The support we have gotten from friends, family and the general public has been overwhelming. We were not expecting to meet and exceed our target in the time we did – I think it was in less than a week! It is a lovely feeling to know that people support you in your creative work.
…focus all our attention on getting ready for our three week run…
ML: Do you have any ideas for future productions or a long-term goal?
BP & KM: We hope that our first production is a success and that more will come of all our efforts in the next few months but for now we’re going to focus all our attention on getting ready for our three week run. Very exciting stuff!
Mouth also chatted to the director of Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down about producing a play centring around three women and its individual challenges.
Mouth London: How and why did you decide to become involved with Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down?
Jane Moriarty, Director: At the time when Bernice and Kelly founded Red Cart Theatre, we had been looking for a project to work on together. I was really drawn to the script and to the troubled characters Richard Cameron has created, and I was curious about how those characters might relate to an audience today.
…this script is mainly composed of monologues…
ML: What unique challenges does this production present in comparison to other work you’ve done, for example at The Globe?
JM: Unlike any play I’ve directed before, this script is mainly composed of monologues, spoken in direct address to the audience. Directing the play in a small fringe venue places the characters into a very personal, intimate relationship with the audience, and that’s what I find exciting about working on this production. The designer and I also decided to configure the audience seating around the stage so that this dynamic is heightened. It’s the equivalent to working in close-up on screen.
…their need to confront the shadows of their past…
ML: What are you hoping the audience will take away from Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down?
JM: Each of the women in this story has unresolved issues from her youth, and the play is about their need to confront the shadows of their past in order to take control of the future. Despite some of the darker experiences the characters go through, I think it’s ultimately a hopeful story, and that’s what I’d like people to experience.