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Rep Season 2013 – Performance Day 2 – ALEXANDER GUINEY – (Verrina/Kulygin/Youth)

January 8, 2013

According to Thomas Wolfe, you can never go home again.

I was lucky enough to help start The Faction after appearing in Richard III at the Brockley Jack Theatre a little over four years ago. It was a thrilling production to be a part of, and opened my eyes to a style and a way of working that I had never been exposed to before. Demanding that the same rigour that is usually applied to the text is also demanded of yourself physically was a new (and a little terrifying) style of theatre-making for me, but one that I very quickly felt at home in, and what I have learned at Faction HQ (wherever that is) I have carried with pride with me throughout my career.

For one reason or another, either professional or family commitments, I haven’t worked for The Faction for almost two years. It’s been an odd one. I have sat on the sidelines for a great deal of the company’s recent artistic growth. During 2012’s inaugural rep season, I would sit in the bar at our home at the New Diorama feeling bizarrely jealous of my friends, who at this point I had known for a huge chunk of my career, having an amazing time in amazing shows. I knew that I had been away for too long, and also felt a strong desire to re-prove myself to these guys that I had grown up with as an actor.

Having the opportunity to be a part of Rep 2013 has been an immense experience so far, and it has been wonderful to back in the room with these guys. Amongst all the familiarity, it is really challenging working with other artists who know you really well. For one, they recognise and won’t accept any of your actory tricks and bad habits, nor should they. They expect you to be better, and you should be. It’s a re-education, and it’s a good one. But more than anything, I feel like I’m amongst family again, and one that I’ve missed possibly more than I realised.

We opened the season last night, with the first ever performance of Schiller’s Fiesco in the UK, to a sold-out and receptive house. We sat in the bar afterwards, amongst friends, colleagues and family, and had drinks and told jokes we had heard a million times before. It was as warm and familiar as a good home should be. And with respect to Mr. Wolfe, maybe he didn’t have as good a place to return to as I did.

The work continues, with Three Sisters and Blood Wedding joining Fiesco in the rep in the coming weeks. I really hope to see you there.

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