Jens Lens ~ Behind the Scenes of Foxfinder

2013 has begun, and as well as getting back into work, I am also involved in 4Play Theatre’s latest production, Foxfinder

 4Play have always been a group I have watched and admired. Over the years they have put on some really challenging and stimulating theatre, which has ultimately led to their reputable image on the Hereford Drama scene, so it has been great to be involved in this production. 

 Foxfinder is a new play by emerging playwright Dawn King.  It was the 2011 Papatango award winner and debuted on stage at the Finborough Theatre in West London.  Set in a dystopian parallel, the piece is a gritty thriller which explores themes of desire, friendship, responsibility and passion.  The fox is a bad omen, one that can ruin harvests, disrupt working families and sever relationships.  That’s why the Foxfinder is here.

 The play has four characters who examine these themes from different perspectives.  Playing the role of the Foxfinder William Bloor is Youth Theatre graduate Jack Spreckley, who also works on The Courtyard Cafe Bar.  William’s character is one that reflects a repressed childhood, and has been taught what he knows through indoctrination.  He turns up at Sam and Judith Covey’s farmhouse, played by Rich Monk and Lorrayne McGuire Heath respectively, to investigate why their land and crops have been suffering.  Following a string of hard events, the couple battle against the Foxfinder to establish their own identities and happiness, as well as protecting what they have left.  Both go through the play on their own emotional journeys.  I play Judith’s best friend, and neighbour Sarah Box, contributing a subversive element to the plot, in that I don’t believe in the fox’s existence and challenge William’s perceptions.  The whole piece is full of complex themes and challenges which ultimately conclude in a nail biting and tense finale.

 We are into the last week of rehearsals now, which see us making use of space, testing each other’s conflicting character personalities and pulling pieces of set together.  These rehearsals have all been under the direction of Jonathon Legg, who appeared in 4Play’s last January production of The Pillowman

A tense scene at the Covey's farmhouse

A tense scene at the Covey’s farmhouse

Jack Spreckley and Rich Monk start the search

Jack Spreckley and Rich Monk start the search

Jack Spreckley as William Bloor, and Rich Monk as Sam Covey

Jack Spreckley as William Bloor, and Rich Monk as Sam Covey

Foxfinder opens in The Courtyard’s Studio Theatre on Wednesday January 23rd and runs until Saturday January 26th at 7.45pm each night.  There will also be a Q + A session following the Thursday performance, so come along and ask us more if this has been enough to make you curious about foxes!

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