BWW Special Feature: From The Park to Central Park
Sat in Scéalta Móra's spacious rehearsal room overlooking Vauxhall Park, Warde Street's director Jenny Eastop is partaking in an animated discussion with the show's cast on the role of terrorism in politics, one of the play's themes. Set in the aftermath of the 2005 London Bombings, Warde Street looks at what happens when you are unable to forgive and instead seek revenge, and at how politics and terrorism have become intrinsically linked in particular when it comes to election time.
Although it seems like both Eastop and the cast could talk for hours, the discussion has to be cut short as Jenny must dash to her next rehearsal. As well as rehearsing the transfer of Warde Street to Park 90 Park Theatre, Jenny Eastop is also mid rehearsals for the US tour of the West End smash Blithe Spirit starring Angela Lansbury on which she is associate director. Although rehearsing with a star studded cast for a big US tour may seem a world away from the off West End Park theatre for Jenny there is no difference. "In both shows I'm working with professional actors whose main drive is to discover what they can bring to the play and their roles. To tell the story of the play and take the audience with them." In Warde Street's case that story is one very close to Londoners hearts. I wondered if Jenny felt nervous about tackling a subject so close to home. "I'm gripped by that, not nervous. The memories of 7/7 whether you were directly involved or not, will have stayed with most Londoners and will bring up all sorts of emotions and memories. Damien hasn't rehashed old wounds as an easy emotional hook. Instead his script takes us on in time and makes us think about the impact of the ripples still being tragically felt."
Now it really is time for Jenny Eastop to dash off to the West End for rehearsals but before she goes I ask her to sum up Warde Street in three words,"gripping, thought-provoking and heart-breaking." With that Jenny jumps into the waiting cab and heads off to the wonderfully funny world of Blithe Spirit leaving the politically charged emotional world of Warde Street behind.
Warde Street runs at Park 90 Park Theatre from September 30th - October 26th, for more details and to book tickets please visit the shows website www.wardestreet.com. Blithe Spirit will begin its North American tour on December 9th at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.