6 things you might not know about Girl from the North Country
Girl from the North Country uses the music of Bob Dylan to transport us back to 1930s Duluth where we find ourselves entwined in the lives of Nick, his fractured family and the people who have wound up in his run-down guesthouse in the midst of the Great Depression.
We got to take a look behind the scenes to discover some of the secrets, quirks and creative approaches behind Conor McPherson’s critically acclaimed show.
‘Standing on the waters casting your bread’
In total, 168 loaves of bread will be used during the run. And no, our cast don’t have a penchant for the lovely, fluffy carbohydrate for snacking on in between scenes – the noble turkey sandwich has a starring role in Act 2.
2. ‘In a town without pity where the water runs deep’
Wed 21 Jun 2017 saw the hottest day in the UK since 1976. And our cast had a full day of rehearsals that day ready for the first preview on 8 Jul. With temperatures this summer reaching eye watering highs, hydration took on a new level of importance. Even as autumn creeps in, the cast are expected to drink an estimated 800 litres of water backstage over the course of the run to keep those vocal chords fully hydrated.
3. ‘I’ve been to the mountain and I’ve been in the wind’
With impressive regional American accents, including the incredibly tricky Minnesota accent, you could be forgiven for thinking that some of the cast must hail from the States. Wrong! The cast were born in seven different countries: England, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Nigeria and Uganda.
4. ‘Good manners will always trump a scoundrel’
For those of you who have seen the show and are concerned over the state of our roof following the gunshot incident in Act 2, do not be alarmed – the dust that you see falling from the ceiling is actually crumbled up breakfast cereal.
5. ‘My hands are sweating and we haven’t even started yet’
With a group of highly creative people, there’s no surprise that we have a fair share of lefties in the cast. What do you do when two actors have to play the same drum kit with opposing handedness? Use two snares and two high hats on one kit.
6. ‘I watched them from the distance with music in my ears’
An authentic, convincing sound was very important to Orchestrator, Arranger and Musical Supervisor Simon Hale. Some songs have been arranged to fit the 1930s style and others have intentionally not, but the makeup of the band was dictated by the period of the piece with a drum kit and piano from the 1920s and a harmonium from the First World War.
Girl from the North Country closes on Sat 7 Oct 2017.