Interview with Alex Lehman, performer in Beegu
| Thu 11 Dec 2014
Alex Lehman is currently performing in dotted line theatre's production of Beegu. In this interview, he tells us how Beegu's character was developed in rehearsal.
How would you describe the character of Beegu? What is her personality like?
Beegu is curious about everything. She is an explorer by nature. If something knocks her down, she gets right back up again. She is always moving on to the next thing. Her adventure on Earth is about trying to connect with all the creatures - animate and inanimate - that she encounters. Beegu just wants to make friends!
How did you develop Beegu’s character and mannerisms in rehearsal?
Every puppet has its own personality, and the first thing that you have to do in the rehearsal room is get her up on the table moving about and exploring. You listen carefully to what she tells you and then over time you discover how she moves and breathes and speaks. Much of our early work involved improvising scenes between Beegu and the other puppets. We had to experience her journey for ourselves, to be with her as she tried to make friends with the tree or the bunnies for the first time, in order to get to know her ourselves. Our job as puppeteers is to support her so that she can do what she naturally does.
This show has some incredible live sound. How did you create Beegu’s language?
Some of this was discovered in rehearsal, but mostly it is down to our fantastic composer Cathleen Cheshire. She has been working with Rachel on this project for a very long time and a lot of the vision for the sound was already in place before rehearsals began. All of the sound - Beegu's voice as well as the music - is fantastic and I think it really helps add something unique to the performance. I've never heard anything quite like it.
Have any of you developed any new skills whilst creating this production?
I learned to beatbox!
What can the audience expect from this production?
A truly unique adventure. There are so many unorthodox elements to this show - the object work, the sound-scape, our amazing opera singer Wendy Carr, the old school science fiction design - that make it stand out to me and I think that the adults will have just as much fun as the children.
Beegu is at artsdepot until Sat 13 Dec.
Image: Alex performing in Beegu, photo by Minyahil K Giorgis