New company presents debut
watching from behind a desk set up in the stalls of the Grand.
“Although I haven’t directed an opera before, the drive is the same as when you are directing any piece of theatre – we are trying to tell a story.
“We have a certain number of hours to rehearse this thing, then, on a set date at a set time, the curtain goes up and we better be ready to astound the people sitting out there watching,” he says.
Barltett’s theatrical bent is very clear and his eye for creating grand stage pictures is why Opera North have asked him to take charge of this production of Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades. Which is why it is such a surprise that this man, a theatre animal to his core, is also an accomplished, awardwinning novelist.
“Whether I am directing on stage or writing a novel, my job is to articulate the imagination of the person who is watching the show, or reading the book,” he says.
“It’s the audience’s mind and imagination entirely that I am trying to provoke and entertain. The curtain goes up, or the book is opened and the promise is that we will take your mind, heart and imagination to a different place.” THE debut play from York-based Six Lips Theatre opens in the city in a couple of weeks, ahead of a regional tour next year.
An intimate and intense piece, Close explores the effect of social isolation, due to illness from infancy, on a young girl called Marianne, who is kept locked away in an attic by her ashamed family. York actress Gemma Sharp, who was last seen as Beatrice in this summer’s Much Ado About Nothing by the York Shakespeare Project, plays Marianne. The show is at Friargate Theatre, Oct 25-29. Tickets on 01904 613000.