Demons is ultimately about political change and how you go about it’

Photographs of the Demons cast in rehearsal by Timothy Kelly
8 Jun 2015 @ 9.41 pm
| News

Department of Film, Theatre and Television, University of York, Baird Lane, York YO10 5GB

Fri Jun 12, Sat Jun 13 and Sun Jun 14 @ 7.30pm

Tickets available here

The Fleeting Arms, 54 Gillygate, York YO31 7EQ

Wed Jun 17 and Thu Jun 18 @ 7.30pm

Tickets available here


Demons website

In the second of our blogs on the new production of Demons, Annlouise Butt and Jessica Hutchinson catch up with some of the cast

This project aims to create a company setting in which students are working alongside professionals and learning from them, not just in the traditional lecturer-student relationship. What has it been like working with professionals?

Oliver: For me, with the hope of being a professional actor, any exposure to professional experience is worth its weight in gold. It is amazing to say that I have done this, I have worked with a professional director and writer. If you told me I would be doing this in my second year of university I would laugh, it has been amazing. I’ve learned so much just in rehearsals with them.

Saffia: We have a sense of responsibility when working with a professional company. There is a sense of ownership over the product and therefore you want to put a lot into it.

This sense of responsibility and ownership seems key in the whole process. This begun in the Research and Devising week. How did you find that week prepared you for the rehearsals now?

Oliver: R&D was an introduction to the themes that we thought the original novel radiated and how that would translate to stage and it served as a way to get us all on the same page and to get us to start thinking what kind of play we wanted to create.

Claire: You felt like a theatre maker – not just an actor there to do a job. We were there before the script was and we are as much a part of the story and a focus because of this

Jason: I have done R&D before, but never as politically geared as this. It has been interesting working, researching and developing the piece with a more political focus.

Demons is an old book, and getting it into a more modern permutation has been interesting; everyone comes from varied backgrounds, it has been exciting working with a group of people that don’t necessarily share my view and have different thoughts to me.

‘Demons is ultimately about change, political change’
‘It is relevant to the world we live in now’
‘It has been exciting working with a group of people that don’t necessarily share my view ’
‘It has been exciting working with a group of people that don’t necessarily share my view ’

With so much group research going into this story, it seems everyone has a connection to it. Why do you think it is such an important story to tell now?

Adam: We are taking themes that have been apparent in the world for hundreds of years and making them relevant to the world we live in today. It is relevant to the world we live in now and asks the audience important questions about it.

Saffia: If you take Demons out of Russia and its original time period it is completely relevant to every period in history. Within itself it has an application and relevancy to every age group and every socio-economic background.

I feel that in light of the general election Demons creates a platform for discussion that people would normally shy away from or feel a disconnect from.

James: Everyone who voted has something to say about politics and about change. Demons is ultimately about change, political change and how you go about it.

The cast members interviewed are Students studying at York University: Saffia Sage (2nd year), Claire Duffy (3rd year) Oliver Henn (2nd year), Adam Bruce (1st year), Jason Ryall (3rd year) and James Dixon (3rd year)

A post-show discussion on contemporary radical politics and protest movements will take place after the show on Thursday 18th June at The Fleeting Arms