Wow wow wow. Putting on Charisma I never expected the response I had - so much energy and buzz in the audience post-performance, with many coming up to me afterward asking if I’d really written the play myself, and how I’d done it, and why I cast Ella and many more excitable questions asked with intrigue. To see my play raise so many questions in an audience makes me feel I’ve achieved my gaol, a goal to raise empathy and further understanding for other life experiences. That is always my goal when I write. Many have said they appreciated the dialogue on diagnosis within the play, while others were curious about the philosophical conversation or the curious mix between romance and friendship that Charlie and Fifi experience toward one another.
I am still editing the script, and found several faults within it as we put it on its feet. This said, I couldn’t be more please with what audiences said, specifically many mentioning how awkward they often felt, as if they were experiencing the tension felt by Charlie and Fifi themselves. Many of them said they felt as if they shouldn’t be there -as if they were spying on a private conversation between two people. This is a massive compliment to my aim of writing naturalistic dialogue, as well as a props my fellow actor Ella. Several audience members also contacted me days after the performance to let me know they had been thinking about it still.
I can’t say it wasn’t challenging directing and acting at the same time - and I can’t say I fully achieved it. Personally, I don't feel I did my best acting, but I do think I did near the best I could have done sans direction. This said, I remain proud of what I was able to offer Ella and thoroughly enjoyed watching her discover and become Fifi. Here’s what an old drama teacher of mine had to say about the direction: “I remain impressed by the way Nay was able to selflessly work on the direction of the other person he was acting with. The temptation for a young writer/director to focus purely on themselves is significant. He allowed Ella ['Fifi'] to discover and perform a character with vim and vigour.”
Pictures of the play are up on 'Past Productions' and a description of the rehearsal process can be found if you scroll down this page.
A video of the performance is being published on Thursday 9th of July 2021 at 7PM BST. Save the date!