‘I wanted stillness and silence’

Laura Rowe speaks to Ellie Carrier about Dramasoc’s Eurydice for SCENE.

(Image: Mia Scudds)

“I knew I wanted to pitch, and I looked at so many plays. Then I found it and I read it and I just knew it would be perfect for me,” Ellie told me.

“I do English literature, I choreograph dance, and I love musical theatre and singing. So, to bring all of that into the play and be able to put that on a stage was something I was really passionate about.”

Ellie’s production was full of invention and clever symbolic moments.

“A lot of what I put my own spin on was the design: the way we did the elevator, with the petals being the water, draping fabric and using all of the hanging letters.”

The use of purple and green was visually striking onstage, bleeding into everything from the lighting to the string around the seats. But where did this inspiration come from? And what did it symbolise?

“It was inspired by the script that I bought”, Ellie explained. The logo used by Dramasoc was inspired by this which “became our theme.”

“That just sort of spilled into the set. Green is the colour of the underworld. Pink is the world above, and you’re really seeing [Eurydice’s] naivety. It was all quite symbolic, but it came from quite a mundane place.”

The string onstage extended to the audience’s seating, drawing you into the set.

“In the script it says that you build a string room. We wanted to tie that more into the set, so that it’s not just something that appears and disappears. We put it on the walls and made it sort of a vessel for movement around the space.”

“Once we put up the string it tied the whole set together.”

Being familiar with the tragedy, I was expecting to feel distraught throughout the play, but to my (pleasant) surprise there were some very funny moments. From the hilarious Stones to the very unnerving strange man, the cast added an additional layer to the play.

“The tragedy can only be as sad as it is,” Ellie explained. By interjecting comedy, they were able to deepen the moments of sadness and add different levels of emotions.

“We really played into the lovely, lovely stones being these gemstones, rather than just grey stones, and almost they see themselves as celebrities. That was an idea I had the day before my pitch, and it just brought everything together and the show to life.”

Aside from only doing something new with the script itself, Ellie has brought something different to Dramasoc. “Usually, it’s just a play that is directed and blocked. Whereas I went in with the values that I wanted, stillness and silence, to be the accent rather than the other way round.”

Speaking about getting the pitch, Ellie commented, “It means so much because it is my  final opportunity to do this. This is the last time that I’ll be able to direct for the society. To be able to do it with such a lovely cast is just the most wonderful experience.”