The Actor's Experience with Annie Laurenson

by Annie Laurenson

I very nearly missed the auditions for Pillow Talk, having seen them but for some reason decided I didn't fit the criteria. It was only as I was seeing Beaumaris’ brilliant performance of Company that Debbie Keyt asked if I would come to a second audition. I'm so glad she mentioned it; I'm so glad I went to Company, (for reasons other than Pillow Talk,) because I have enjoyed this production enormously, and to think – I nearly missed that experience!

It may seem strange to say I'm enjoying a production that is so fraught with emotions but it's Andy’s script that resonates so much with me personally, and as an actress, that gives so much to pleasure.

Rod Hulme, playing my husband, is an absolute joy to work with! If suddenly I feel moved to do something I haven't done in any other rehearsal, he deals with it brilliantly and responds as Harry would. He is an incredibly generous performer. The same can be said of Siobhan who is just hilarious as the egotistical daughter, Cassie and whose journey to empathic young woman is a joy to watch. Stephen playing the son from Henri's first marriage, is great to work with, but I know he can make me giggle, and that could be at a very inappropriate time! The only sadness I have in this play is that I don't get any direct contact with Alex and Caity, both of whom I know from previous productions and both of whom are lovely performers. It's sad that I don't get any stage time with them. But it would also be a bit weird since Caity is playing me as a young woman, which brings up all those old “messing with your own timeline issues” that so beset your average time traveller!

Its been one of the easiest rehearsal times I’ve ever had; the lines just seemed to flow and it's truly lovely to be back at Beaumaris. Andy has mentioned elsewhere that he is so grateful that Beaumaris took the risk to produce an unknown play. I think the results speak for themselves, but it must be said, it's not an easy play to watch, that's for sure. It's hard to watch that amount of emotion on a stage.

Andy’s script embraces many viewpoints and if it prompts more people to discuss with their loved ones their choices about their life and their death, it's performed a great social function. If it simply moves audiences, well, that's a pretty special result too.