One Year Foundation 2008

by Moira Buffini

July 15-18 2008
The Nightingale Theatre, Brighton

Directed by Daniel Finlay.

Here. You. Now. This.

Loveplay is a historical comedy following a tangled trail of seductions and sexual encounters on the same location in London over a period of 2,000 years from 79AD to the present day. Ten scenes set in 10 different eras feature 31 delicate characters who are a poignant reminder of how throughout history the search for love has so often been depressing and volatile.
The audience is transported from Roman Britain, through Saxon times before entering a Medieval convent where nuns argue over the ideas of love. We witness Renaissance actors confusing reality with the play they are rehearsing, cringe in sympathy with 1960s would-be swingers and end up in a modern day dating agency where the manager is losing control of her own love life.

The Argus
Monday 14th July 2008
By Warren Pegg

"It's all about relationships, love and sex, and various combinations of them through the ages," says Loveplay's director Daniel Finlay. "I think primarily you get the idea that although it's 2,000 years later, we're pretty much the same creatures and have the same problems, issues, wants, desires and different kinds of relationships. And there's some nice comedy as well, so it's a good mixture."
The play is an examination of love and lust during different eras of British history. It consists of ten scenes set in the same location over a 2,000-year period, taking in lesbian medieval nuns, over-enthusiastic Renaissance actors and 1960s swingers, before concluding in a present-day dating agency.
"Right at the start, there's a rape. The girl who is being raped screams and it's like the scream echoes down through the ages," Finlay explains. "Although the characters aren't related, all the people in the other scenes get the sense of this echo coming through. They talk about a ghost and strange events and so on. It has that link."
Loveplay was first produced by the RSC in 2001 as part of its This Other Eden season. It was written by the young British playwright Moira Buffini, winner of Time Out and Writers' Guild awards, whose works have been staged at the Almeida and National Theatres in London.
Finlay was a professional actor for a decade before moving into directing and teaching eight years ago. Recent projects have included Lose The Plot, a site-specific show at the Brighton & Hove Children's Festival, and he will be directing Trunks at the Old Ship Hotel on Brighton seafront in August.
The cast consists of about 15 students drawn from the foundation course of Brighton's Academy of Creative Training, which is the only drama school on the South Coast. "That is what's great about the play from the point of view of studying acting - there aren't any starring roles," says Finlay. "They all play at least two characters and are in at least two scenes. They all get a good crack of the whip."

by Moira Buffini


Act One

The Classical Age
Marcus - Scott Virgo
Dorcus - Claire Mitchell / Annie Tayler

The Dark Age
Herek - Robert Wise
Eric - Ian Robertson
Deric - Tomislav Stojanovic
Woman - Franny Skeeles

The New Millennium
Gilda - Charlotte Boyd
Hilda - Mireille Hobson
Matilda - Louise Smyth / Franny Skeeles

The Renaissance
Trevelyn - Scott Virgo
Llewellyn - Steve Hemsley
Helen - Jacqueline Kearnon

The Enlightenment
Roxanne - Louise Smyth
Marianne - Mireille Hobson
Man - Tomislav Stojanovic

Act Two

The Romantic Age
Miss Tilly - Charlotte Boyd / Liliana De Almeida
Mr Quilly - Ian Robertson
Millie - Liliana De Almeida / Charlotte Boyd

The Age Of Empire
De Vere - Scott Virgo
Buttermere - Steve Hemsley

The Age Of Austerity
Joy - Alexandra Spurrier / Jacqueline Kearnon
Boy - Ian Robertson

The Age Of Innocence
Quinn - Robert Wise
Flynn - Franny Skeeles
Gwyn - Claire Mitchell
Lynne - Liliana De Almeida

The Age Of Excess
Brigitta - Claire Mitchell
Anitia - Alexandra Spurrier
Rita - Annie Tayler
Dieter - Tomislav Stojanovic
Peter - Steve Hemsley

Directed by Daniel Finlay
Rehearsal Directors
Britt Forsberg and Elaine Heath
Light and Sound by Dan Reilly