Lauren Hitchman is a second year student at Collingwood College studying English. She has been in numerous Durham Student Theatre productions since starting at Durham and her most recent project is Aeschylus’ The Furies. The play centres around the consequences of the curse on the House of Atreus, and the events following the murders of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra.
Can you tell us a bit about The Furies?
Lauren: It’s an ancient Greek play, which we’re setting in the Norman Chapel, in the castle; it’s an amazing venue with these great pillars, and I think it’s the oldest chapel in the country actually. It’s a really small chapel, which ought to be really claustrophobic. The story is about Orestes avenging his mother’s death, which angers the furies – I can’t say too much, I don’t want to spoil it!
What past acting and behind the scenes experience have you had?
I did drama at A Level, though I’ve been acting since I was eight, so when I came to Uni I decided that I wanted to try something different to acting and directing. So I saw that the Freshers’ play was holding interviews for Producer, and on a whim I went along. The play was And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie, and so I co-produced that. Then after that I went on to produce The Wind in the Willows, and then this term I’m doing The Furies!
So you prefer the behind the scenes aspect?
Well, I like both, but I think it’s nice to get a feel for both sides so I might try acting next time around, but I really enjoy producing. I directed a play in sixth form – a Woody Allen play – and I’m definitely thinking about directing another one soon.
How are rehearsals going so far?
They’ve been going really well; it’s quite a strenuous play to do, there’s a lot of movement involved. But they’ve been going well; it should be a very polished production for a really energetic play. Most of the cast I’ve worked with before, and they’ve been in plenty of DST productions between them.
Why should we all go see it?
You should go see it because even if you’re not into classical theatre, it’s a really modernised, interesting and unusual play. We’ve also got an original score by a music student. It’s not a musical as such but there are songs. It’s completely different from anything I’ve seen in Durham, and also it’s a fantastic venue that you really have to see a play in. I saw The Tempest there last year and I was shocked, it’s just so completely unique and everyone should experience that. You should definitely try to get down this weekend to see it!