Alex Mullarky interviews Lizzie Milne about her directing debut, A Vampire Story, soon to be holding auditions
So … the title suggests it’s a story about vampires…
It certainly is a story about vampires and vampire stories (funnily enough). It’s about why they fascinate us and what they might be a metaphor for. There may also be some, y’know, actual vampires, the title’s not a false promise, let’s put it that way.
The script is very ambiguous. Do you plan to choose one interpretation and present it that way, or are you going to leave it up to the audience?
We’ll definitely be presenting a coherent story, but hopefully one that’ll prompt the audience to have a think afterwards. I think a lot of what you take away from the play depends on what you bring in with you, which is awesome/really pretentious.
What attracted you to the script?
I saw an amazing production in 2008, and it’s been in my head ever since. I love that it’s funny, inventive and doesn’t take itself too seriously, though it does deal with some quite serious subjects. Also, every character has a name and an actual personality, which is pretty fun, and there are amazing parts for girls.
What do you think will be the most interesting and the most challenging aspects to direct?
Oh, good question. There are some scenes set in the 19th century, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can do with those, but I’m sure they’re going to be challenging. And more generally, we have to create a number of different settings and atmospheres using just the cast and whatever furniture we find in The Barron.
What will you be looking for in auditions?
People who turn up! And then people who really go for it, and come up with interesting interpretations of the audition speeches. I don’t have many preconceived notions of the characters and am really looking forward to seeing what people do. Also, I’m after people who act honestly and aren’t overly theatrical in their delivery. The play can be quite melodramatic and it’s really important the cast are grounded enough to counteract that. And I want people to have fun. And turn up; it’s really important they turn up (have I mentioned that already?).
In ten words or less: why should people come and audition for A Vampire Story?
FAKE BLOOD. That’s why.
Sounds like fun.
Image by Lizzie Milne