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Get to know the cast and creatives from Marry Me A Little

14th July 2021

Get to know the cast and creatives of Marry Me A Little.

Read our interview below to get to know the cast and creatives from Marry Me A Little.

We caught up with performers Kate Denny and Alfie French and director Jason Marc-Williams. The team will be bringing you Marry Me A Little this August.

In this interview, the cast and director told us more about their careers and how they’re feeling about performing again.

Headshot of Kate Denny, playing Woman in Marry Me A Little        Headshot of Alfie French, playing Man in Marry Me A Little

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

JASON: I’m originally from Swansea in South Wales. I trained as an actor at Guildford school of Acting, graduating in 2008.  I have been fortunate to spend the last 13 years working as a professional actor and director, across the UK and around the world. At the core I will always be a working-class boy from Swansea.

ALFIE: I’m from Hitchin, Hertfordshire. I’ve been training to be an actor for many years and recently graduated from Emil Dale Academy. Emil Dale Academy is a musical theatre college.

KATE: I am from Manchester. I studied at Liverpool Theatre School and trained in Musical Theatre and have always loved singing and acting from a very young age. I find it is the best way I can express myself. Watching live performances and seeing the true emotions from an actor on stage is something that I love. Being able to bring the audience on a journey with the performer I think is amazing. This is something I have truly missed doing during lockdown. Knowing I have such an amazing opportunity to perform in a theatre during these times is wonderful.

 

Tell us how you got involved with The Courtyard?

JASON: I originally worked for The Courtyard in 2013 playing Baron Hardup in Cinderella, I then played Dame for the following two years. I have always stayed in contact with Ian and others at The Courtyard and could not wait to return. I am huge fan of The Courtyard, its ethos and vision.

 

What was your vision for the summer season?

JASON: I have had the idea of producing a summer season for a few years I finally plucked up the courage to believe in my idea and approached Ian at The Courtyard in August 2020. Ian believed in me and the idea. I honestly couldn’t think of a better venue to be co- producing with. It is such a wonderful venue to perform in and a wonderful bunch of humans to work with. I wanted to bring more self-produced theatre to the venue. I wanted to encourage new and old patrons to return to the theatre. We decided on a play and a musical to provide more variety and cater to a wider audience.

 

How do you feel to be performing in/directing/co-producing Marry Me A Little at The Courtyard?

KATE: I am ecstatic to be a part of Marry Me A Little at The Courtyard! It is my first job out of lockdown. I can’t wait to be working again and working alongside likeminded professionals. Knowing that it’s such a small cast is going to be a great challenge for me and I can’t wait to create something special and build relationships with my peers. I am truly so excited to build my role in Marry Me A Little and create a whole new character.

ALFIE: I’m thrilled to be playing the role of Man in The Courtyard’s production of Marry Me A Little. It gives me and the rest of the creatives an opportunity to create something completely unique and personal to us, which is amazing for any actor.

JASON: I am so excited to be directing my first professional Sondheim at The Courtyard, I am such a big fan of his work and want to share this less done work with the people of Hereford. His music and lyrics are incredibly clever. He tells a wonderful story through song.

 

Are there any parallels between you and the characters in Marry Me A Little?

JASON: I don’t think there are many parallels between me and either of the characters. There were definitely times in my younger days before I met my boyfriend, where the longing and dreaming of the perfect companion was part of my life though.

Actually, there is currently one thing which is relevant- we live a flat and we hear lots of conversations/ crashes/ bangs etc from flats below and above which the characters in the piece experience.

ALFIE: As we all know this past year has involved a lot of staying indoors and not talking to many other people. This aspect of the show is certainly something we can all relate to. By using something as relatable as this to bring people together in the theatre (albeit socially distanced) I think is so powerful and a privilege to be a part of. It is amazing to see theatre slowly returning to its rightful place.

KATE: I would say yes. I am a true romantic and romanticise everything in life. From what I know already, my character isn’t afraid to express herself and play around and I feel I am very much like that. Saying that, I do want to build a brand-new character that is different to me but knowing I have some similar personality traits is good to have a base before I begin to expand on her personality.

 

How are you feeling about being back working on a live production after the pandemic?

JASON: Honestly, it’s super exciting I have been one of the lucky ones during the last year, I been fortunate the direct online productions for The Sherman Theatre (Gates) I was also involved with a brilliant online production for West Glamorgan Youth Theatre Company (The Party). Also I recently finished directing Spring Awakening the musical with third year graduating students at Emil Dale Academy, which was filmed live and streamed online.  However, the thought of finally directing a production where people will be able to watch live and in person, honestly fills me with huge emotion. It’s a real special thing which we all took for granted.

KATE: I feel so lucky to be in this position and knowing it isn’t a huge cast puts us in a great situation. I didn’t think I would be working so soon as I know live theatre has been so slow getting back to some form of normality, but all I can say is I am so happy and feel so lucky to be back working again.

 

What advice would you give to anyone looking to become a performer/director?

ALFIE: My advice to anyone looking to become a performer would be simply keep going. Keep creating anything and everything as this is where you grow and understand yourself much more. After all, you can’t fully play someone else without understanding yourself first.

KATE: Never give up. Ever. No matter how many knock-backs you get or how many nos, just think it only takes that one YES. Put your all into it, keep your mind busy and always work on yourself to become a better performer. Even though I trained for 3 years and learnt so much, I have never stopped learning since I graduated. Every audition I have been to I have learnt something, even if that is just to keep smiling. All the little things add up to make you a better performer and your confidence will just keep growing. Also, everyone is running their own marathon. Try not to compare yourself to others, we are all in the same boat and the best you can do is just be the best you.

JASON: Although at times the industry can be a tricky and frustrating business, the joy and love I have for theatre is incredible. The ability to share and bring to life people stories is incredible, I have been fortunate to meet and work with some wonderful humans. Who think differently, challenge each other on options and grow together. I would say go for it. Trust your instincts. Be brave honest and most importantly be adaptable.

 

What is your favourite Sondheim musical?

KATE: Definitely Follies. The soundtrack is absolutely stunning, and I think it captures some truly beautiful moments. It’s so raw and the acting through song is so well done. I have seen a couple of different casts perform Follies and they both managed to really grasp onto the acting and really showing emotion through the songs. One of my favourite Musical Theatre songs is ‘Losing My Mind’ as I think you can tell a whole story, whatever you choose to do as a performer and really make it your own.

JASON: There as so many brilliant pieces but I think I have to say Company as it has the perfect balance of comedy, emotion, and pathos throughout. As well as some incredible songs. I have been fortunate to direct two student productions I hope in the near future I will get to direct a professional production of company too.

ALFIE: It is very hard to pick a favourite Sondheim musical as they are all masterpieces in their own right. Certainly, some of my favourites are the perfect combinations of comedy and drama such as Sweeney Todd and Company as well as, of course, Marry Me A Little.

 

If you could play any role in any Sondheim show, what would it be and why?

KATE: Sally Durant Plummer. Going back to my favourite musical, I think her character in Follies shows so much vulnerability. I know she’s way out of my age range, but my favourite performance of this character was when Imelda Staunton played her in the London Revival. I just fell in love with her and the way she can act through song. The songs that she sings have a whole backstory behind them that us as audience members really get to see. I have always wanted to play her to challenge myself with her thought process and the difficulties she faces as a character.

 

Why should people come and see Marry Me A Little at The Courtyard?

ALFIE: People should come and see Marry Me A Little at The Courtyard as it is a unique musical and unlike anything many people would have seen before. It allows you to look deeply into the lives of just two individuals and go on a journey with them that hopefully you will be itching to see the outcome of.

KATE: I think people should come and see Marry Me A Little because I think it’s such a unique musical. It’s not often you hear of such a cast so small and I think it’s exciting to see what two people on stage can create. I know Jason as a director will be perfect for this to create such a big dynamic with only two people on stage, making it feel like there is more and never having any empty space. I know he will really get the most out of us as performers and really push us to be the best we can be. Also, the fact there is no dialogue, the challenge for us is to really tell a story through only song and I think as audience members it is so exciting to see a musical like this.

JASON: It is live theatre, why wouldn’t you? It is a beautiful simple piece, wonderfully clever songs, honest sensitive and intimate. It really will be an excellent night of Musical theatre.

 

Marry Me A Little

Marry Me A Little will be on our Main House stage from Tuesday 3 – Saturday 7 August at 7.30pm. There will also be a Saturday matinee performance at 2.30pm. Audio Description will be available for the matinee show.

After a year away from the theatre it feels good to be back. Marry Me A Little is the perfect show for musical lovers. Don’t miss it this summer at The Courtyard.

Book now for Marry Me A Little