Members of the creative team of All Our Children share their thoughts & inspiration for the show.

 

 

Tim Mascall Lighting Designer

 

Hi Tim! Thanks for joining us for our Twitter Q+A! Tell us about your design for All Our Children..

The play is set in a Doctor's office with a superb set by Simon Higlett and the job of lighting is to enhance that and help tell the story. 

 

Has it been challenging designing a show with such a heavy topic? 

Every show presents different challenges (logistical mainly!) but the subject matter helps inform design decisions. 

 

What has it been like working with Stephen Unwin on this project?

It's our first time working together but I've really enjoyed it. Steve  is very supportive and collaborative which, for me, is important. 

 

In your opinion, why should people come to see All Our Children

Firstly, aside from anything else, it's an incredibly strong piece of work with an acting company who a phenomenal. Simon Higlett's design is beautiful and the subject matter is as relevant today as ever before. 

 

And finally! Describe All Our Children in three words...

Provocative, dark, inspiring. 

 

 

Lucy Speed Elizabetta

 

Lucy Speed (Jamie Johnson, Cradle To Grave) plays ELIZABETTA, a working class mother in her late 40s, in factory clothing. dedicated to her son and eager to see how he is getting on inside the hospital ward.

 

Hello Lucy! So tell us in your own words, what is the story of All Our Children and your character Elizabetta...

It's a story about social responsibility, giving voices to those unable to themselves. Marking and acknowledging a horrific moment in history. 

 

How does it feel to play a character who is a Mother in such a challenging time? 

Elizabetta is an honest and really an emotionally lost ferosioly loving mother of a disabled son whose care she has entrusted in the clinic. It feels very important to represent. Though it's exhausting, the adrenaline is way up there. Exactly as it was to live through I imagine. 

 

What is your favourite scene throughout the whole play and why - no spoilers!

It has no interval, its essentially one continuous piece, so I'll be diplomatic and say the whole thing is absorbing and thought provoking. 

 

And finally, in your opinion, why is this an important play to stage now? 

We are aware now of our social responsibilities or lack of them. It's a superbly relevant message and mirror from history to that conscience. 

 

 

Stephen Unwin Writer & Director

 

Stephen Unwin is one of the UK’s leading theatre directors. He founded the English Touring Theatre in 1993 and opened the Rose Theatre Kingston in 2008 becoming Artistic Director until 2014. Directing credits include: King Lear (Old Vic), Hedda Gabler, Hamlet, Sandra / Manon (Donmar Warehouse), Man to Man, The Conquest of the South Pole (Royal Court Theatre).

 

All Our Children is Unwin’s first original play although he has written eight books on theatre and drama and translated several plays. Stephen is a campaigner for the rights and opportunities of people with learning disabilities and was appointed the Chair of Kids in November 2016, the national charity providing services to disabled children, young people and their families.

 

Hello Stephen! Could you explain the motifs of All Our Children?

1) What do we do about the most vulnerable people in society, especially the profoundly disabled?
2) Does science have the answers? Does religion? Or do we have to find our own answers, for our own world?

3) How do we oppose cruelty and discrimination, especially of those without power of their own? And what are our responsibilities?

 

How have rehearsals been going so far?

I've been directing for 35 years and this is the most exciting and creative thing I've ever done.

 

With such a heavy topic, was their any hurdles you faced with writing the pieces and in turn directing?

I have a profoundly disabled son and so it comes from a deep place. I also knew I needed a cast and creative team and producer who were not only talented, but understood and accepted my own personal connection.

 

Are there any interesting research tasks you’ve undertaken to write this play?

I read as much as I could about the Nazi persecution of the disabled, but also the intervention of Bishop von Galen who opposed it.

 

What is your favourite scene throughout the whole play and why - no spoilers!

The end of the play! Which I won't give away, but you have to come and see it!

 

In your opinion, why is this an important play to stage now?

In a time of shrinking budgets for social care and provision for the disabled we need to remind ourselves as a society about what matters. After all, profoundly disabled children are 'all our children'... But, above all, it's a human story about human beings living through a dark and terrible time and trying to keep their humanity alive.

 

And finally, describe All Our Children in three words…

Thoughtful, heartbreaking and (I think) true...

 

 

For more information on All Our Children, please click here.