Of Mice and Men – ‘the tragic tale of George Milton and Lennie Small, two displaced migrant ranch workers, who move from place to place in search of new job opportunities during the Great Depression in California, USA’.
Many of us may have read Steinbeck’s timeless novel but this week LUDS claim centre stage to present us with his unforgettable stage adaptation of Of Mice and Men. I caught up with director Mark Raynor to get the low down on the play…
Why did you choose Of Mice and Men?
Well, I’d read it at school like most people have and then recently I was drawn back to it. I re-read the book and really loved it. I was thinking of the plays I wanted to pitch and at the time I didn’t know that it was a play, adapted by Steinbeck, but when I found out I knew it would be amazing to do. So that’s probably why I chose it, because I loved the book so much and therefore thought it would make an incredible stage performance.
I believe this is your first time directing a play, how have you found it?
Stressful (he laughs), really stressful, but at the same time it’s really rewarding to see everybody’s hard work within the cast and crew and to come to a flourish near the end. I’m really looking forward to the performances but it has been a lot of hard work.
What would you say has been your biggest challenge in having to put the script in to reality?
I think the biggest challenge has being blocking the script, so going through and giving all the actors the appropriate directions for their characters. Each of the characters have got so many different layers of emotion going on at one point, nobody is ever just feeling one particular emotion and they’re all intertwined with one another. The way they feel is dependent on the other characters there, so it’s a lot of stress and it’s difficult for the actors to portray that. It’s been difficult directing that.
Are you excited for the opening night?
Yes! Very! A friend of mine said that a director’s job starts out easy, and gets harder and harder, whereas an actor’s job starts out really hard, and gets easier and easier. But once it gets to the opening night my job will be done, so I’ll just sit back and watch it go, which will be quite nice for me.
Is there anything you’re worried about?
You’re always worried. I’m just worried that it lives up to its potential.
Why would you suggest that people come and watch?
Because it’s so relevant to everybody’s lives at University, although that makes it sound depressing. It’s about the human condition. There will definitely be a character or many characters that you will relate to, or could relate to at some point in your life. It’s about people struggling to find work in economic downturn, and that’s pretty prevalent today. It deals with all kinds of issues – race, sexism, and misogamy, how we treat people with disabilities, roles and friendship. Why do I think people should come and see it? Because it will be good and because it’s really well acted. The actors are amazing. It’s going to be a big production, there’s lots of stuff going in to it, and just because it’s a really great story.
‘Of Mice and Men’ graces the Stanley Theatre for three nights only, beginning Wednesday 13th November. The play has incredibly high expectations riding upon it, and promises to be a powerful and emotional take on Steinbeck’s remarkable story. LUDS will be bringing the well known tale to our very own University stage, presenting it in an intimate, moving manner in which Liverpool has never seen before. Make sure you get on down because it’s certainly not one to be missed.
13th, 14th and 15th November 2013 in the Stanley Theatre. Tickets can be bought from the Guild Reception.
Doors 7pm for performance 7.30pm
Stanley Theatre, LGoS
£3.00 LUDS Members
£3.50 LUST and Eng Soc Members
£6.00 General Public