Rebecca Morgan, producer and writer of Conviction and co-founder of Playful Moon Theatre, talks about all things theatre. Here, we find out a little bit more about the company and get a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes work on Conviction all the way from when the play was just a little idea.
Tell us a little bit about your previous experience in theatre.
I started by training at East15 with Gabi and Ria where we were on the Physical Theatre course; an amazing programme which we graduated from about six years ago. From here we all went our separate ways in theatre; I started working with companies, mainly devising projects or collaborative projects, and then I started working in arts administration with Society of London Theatre. Both Ria and Gabi were on their different routes but we have all come back together for this play.
What made you want to start a theatre company? What do you aim to do with Playful Moon?
We set up the theatre company because I loved the idea of being part of every aspect of theatre; coming up with an idea, working on an idea, solidifying it, putting it together, everything. I like the idea of collaborative theatre that tells stories that need to be told and not restricting yourself. I wanted to have something that we could play and experiment with, an opportunity to create exciting theatre.
How did Conviction start and grow into the piece that we are going to see at Above the Arts?
It started seven years ago when I was reading a book by Milan Kundera in which he wrote one line about this woman called Milada Horakova, and that was it. I began to do research on this woman as I had never heard of her before. At about that time we were developing solo projects as part of our course at East15 so I developed a ten-minute solo piece based on Horakova’s trial. After this, I put the project to one side but kept on unintentionally going back to her. I could not get her out of my mind and I began looking more into her story, leading me to find the other thread of Conviction- the prosecutor story. I found out that the prosecutor was a first year law student and their stories ran almost parallel, so I started writing and developing the story years after.
Sum up the show in three words.
Love. Ideas. Tragedy.
How has it been juggling producing and writing the show?
I have been trying to keep two different hats for them because I think you are emotionally invested in each differently. Sometimes you have to take a step back and think about how you are approaching a situation, whether that is from a creative- writer approach or even from a creative- producer approach. This is also important for finding dynamics with the rest of our team. It has been a brilliant learning curve for me.
What do you hope an audience gets out of the show?
I hope they find out more about the real history of the show and that it illuminates a lot of what is still happening in the world around us. I hope that they find some kind of truth in it.
Ria thought that Jon Whitten is most likely to be convicted of a crime, who do you think it would be?
Ria would be the most likely to be convicted. But what for… Ah! For apologising to officials for smuggling something illegal into the country, despite being able to get away with it had she not said anything.
Conviction is playing at Above the Arts between 3 – 8 October 2016. For more information and tickets visit: https://artstheatrewestend.co.uk/whats-on/conviction/