For several years, in the mid 1990’s, I was rarely out of the Abbey rehearsal room or off the stage there. They were very happy days for me. I look at this photograph and remember Patrick Mason’s artistic directorship and Joe Vanêk’s designs so vividly.
And I am transported, as only a photograph can, back to that production, to that moment on stage.
Gwendolen in “The Importance of Being Earnest”. This was my first time performing Oscar Wilde’s words and what a joy that was.
The characters and the audience finally meet at a first preview and that night was a revelation for me. Every character’s opening line is a laugh line. I hadn’t realised that in the rehearsal room! My lifelong admiration of Wilde’s theatrical genius, his craftsmanship as a writer and breathtaking understanding of comedy had begun.
How lucky are we that he’s Irish and that his plays are restaged and rediscovered by new generations in the Abbey.
Thank you, Patrick, for all my time in our National Theatre. And to you, Amelia, for capturing those days in the lens of your wonderful talent.
ALISON McKENNA 10/06/2020