Rosa Duncan – notes from the rehearsal room


Our cast have arrived. We are ready to set sail.

Today we began our voyage into the text of The View From Castle Rock.

My name is Rosa Duncan. I am the assistant director joining the team on this special production. I am a Glasgow-based director. As an artist, joining this production is a really exciting opportunity for me. For years, the new work that Stellar Quines have produced has inspired me to create and create daringly.

Whilst studying theatre at the Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Arts, I fell in love with a collaborative style of working. No matter what we were creating, as in much theatre, we worked with designers, with filmmakers, sound designers and each element of the production was just as important and would influence each other.

This production celebrates the work of three fantastic women; Alice Munro, Marilyn Imrie and Linda McLean. Day one: A total collaboration.

Linda has created a word-for-word adaptation of the two first short stories from Alice Munro’s collection entitled The View From Castle Rock. Through clever and subtle choice of narrative designation, Linda allows the audience a greater insight into the mind of each character whilst still condensing the stories into one hour of action.

We figure out rules of the text: what does it mean to be both the character and to narrate in third person your own story? How might our story change depending on who we are telling it to?

Marilyn, as a director, is generous and encouraging. With only a short period before the festival begins, we have a big task ahead of us. Although we move at a fast pace through the text, we sail through guided by exciting conversations led by Marilyn.

From 1818 until 2016. The journey that began 200 years ago is now being mapped out across pews, up ladders and on balconies. As a director, I thoroughly enjoying working with movement and so being able to utilise the entire church space presents exciting opportunities for storytelling.

We play with ideas of what we might visualise and what we may choose not to. The power of imagination is a brilliant thing. We believe as we want to believe. We know ourselves better than anyone could; we know what terrifies us and what excites us. Our skill is to encourage the imagination of the audience, to keep them travelling with us through this story.

200 years ago – what was important to our voyagers? Opportunity, hope for the future. Something many of us may have lost recently. The family as a unit, enduring hardship in search for a greater goal, to aid the generation after them. As we begin this process, I look forward to facing the storms ahead and the arrival at a destination we may only imagine now.