Am dram star of the week is Alexandria Hughes, who's in Codsall Dramatic Society’s production of Blithe Spirit.
Our am dram star this week is playing a ghost!
I was curious to find out if it felt strange, so I spoke to 20-year-old Alexandria Hughes, who is currently in rehearsal for the role of Elvia, the dead first wife of Charles Condomine, in Codsall Dramatic Society’s production of Noel Coward’s classic play Blithe Spirit.
She says: “Strangely, it feels quite natural to play a ghost. As a spirit, Elvira seems empowered by her immortality in a sense, she loves to be in control of any situation and I would say her personality as a ghost would be very similar to when she was alive. It’s great fun to be able to float around the star and connect with her mischievous character.”
Performing Arts student Ali has been with the group for two and a half years and has performed in several of their studio evenings and plays. She has also appeared with at the Gatehouse Theatre in Stafford with her college.
But back to Blithe Spirit. I ask Ali what her thoughts were on Noel Coward.
“He was a prolific and talented actor, playwright and director,” she says. “His works often portrayed middle and upper-class individuals, such are the characters in Blithe Spirit. His plots are interesting and his characters have real depth to them. My role is so much fun to play with the teasing and playful overtones masking the traces of her selfishness.”
I ask Ali how she creates her characters and if she has a clear picture of the role going into rehearsal.
“I initially read through the script and focus on my lines and the other character’s opinions and interpretation of my character,” she says.
“This gives me the basis to start building my portrayal. Then, I think about the tone of their voice, their movements, the little idiosyncrasies that the character may have. I pay very close attention to facial expressions and gestures, as these really help me to immerse myself in the role. As the rehearsal period progresses my character evolves.”
She continues: “Amateur Dramatics is increasing in popularity and I’m glad of it. I feel that performing arts are unfortunately seen as being slightly trivial, but I feel the growth of these groups are key in showing people the influence acting can have, whether for entertainment or a confidence boost for the participants.”
Ali adds: “I would love more people to go out and see their local theatre groups.”
l Catch Blithe Spirit at Codsall Village Hall from September 26-29. For tickets visit www.codsalldramaticsociety.co.uk or call 01902 267322.