Young Friends of the Almeida: Last Words You’ll Hear

BY Almeida Theatre   July 15, 2014
The Young Friends of the Almeida will perform Last Words You’ll Hear, directed by Whitney Mosery, at this year’s Latitude Festival.

Do you have a dream that you can’t interpret? Do you stay up at night haunted by nightmares you don’t understand? Then you’re in luck, because the Young Friends of the Almeida want to invite you to witness something magical.

The world premiere of Last Words You’ll Hear, devised and performed by The Young Friends of the Almeida and directed by Almeida Associate Director Whitney Mosery, is coming to Latitude Festival from 18 – 20 July. Taking inspiration from Strindberg, Jung, Prometheus and PostSecret, the show challenges the assumption that self-defining has replaced self-reflection. Here, Young Friends Sarah King and Jack Haynes share the inside scoop:

Of the many projects the Young Friends of the Almeida lead throughout the year, the largest is a six-month performance-devising project. The first three months of the rehearsal period are spent devising with a professional director, before a professional writer creates a play based upon the main themes and ideas the cast have brought out through devising.

Young Friends choose a pathway and are mentored by a theatre professional in technical work, directing, writing or performing. The last three months is focused on rehearsing the script, learning new theatre techniques and working with industry professionals in order to bring a full-length professional show to a wide audience. We are excited to be part of Latitude, and we look forward to seeing many of you at the festival.

Ahead of that, our cast members have offered a few words to tell you a little more about the play:

“Creating a devised piece of theatre has allowed me to use all my creativity. The process started with us reading plays, taking topics from social networking, photographs and talking about our dreams and nightmares. The journey we have gone on has been magical.”
Unique Spencer, performance pathway

This is the first theatre show I have ever done and I have felt incredibly supported and included.  It was wonderful to learn about the devising process and to work with a number of incredible actors and Almeida staff.  I feel unbelievably lucky to have been a part of LAB and I can not wait to perform this at Latitude Festival next week!”
David Jervis, performance pathway

Working on this show has certainly been one of the experiences in my life which has made me value the journey more than the final destination. We had difficult moments; moments when we were called to take important decisions which would define the direction of the play, but all these moments brought us closer to the core of what it means to create something from scratch. Keep your eyes and mind open; nothing is as it first seems to be!”
Emily Louizou, performance pathway

“Working on Last Words You’ll Hear has been an absolute pleasure. With her calm guiding hand and decisive, reassuring North American tones Whitney has brought a straggly, ideas rich group together and made an ensemble. The rehearsal room was alive with ideas and images and our imaginations ran riot. Its been a real journey, and I am very grateful to Whitney, Boris, Sarah and the whole of the Almeida for helping us to go on it.”
- Marie Hamilton, performance pathway

Here are my top 3 reasons why you should come and see the show:

1. There will be live music on stage during the performance.

2. The play has some humor in it, as well as it being very frightening.

3. It genuinely feels dream-like.”
- Ibrahim Pala, performance pathway

The process has been phenomenal. No words can really describe the journey we have all had. As a company, we had so many different ideas of what we wanted to present, and with the skill and expertise of our director, Whitney Mosery, we managed to harness them and create a beautiful, unique piece of theatre. So make sure you don’t snooze, and lose the opportunity to see it!”
Ivan Drovnin, performance pathway

I first found out about LAB after coming to see a friend’s performance in the same project last year. As soon as you walk into the building you notice this kind of buzz. The staff were warm and friendly, and the atmosphere was exciting, but above all the show was brilliant. I knew I had to be a part of this project. Working with the team at the Almeida has been fun, challenging and surprising. This year was especially exciting, as it was the first time the Almeida was staging a show at Latitude Festival; we were all really excited and a bit scared!”
- Billy Stuart, performance pathway

“I’ve been looking for a project that would allow me to be actively involved in the devising process and as a writer I was exposed to many different approaches to the devising of a play.

Three reasons to come see our show:

1. It’s dreamlike; surreal but also naturalistic

2. There’ll be a lot of whimsical masks and modified loos!

3. It’s set in the forest!”
- Hana Raage, writing pathway

It was a very refreshing experience as a writer being so heavily involved devising process. Overall I have a better understanding on how a theatre operates and the function of a writer within that.

Three reasons to come see our show:

  1.  To support the youth in the arts
  2.  To experience a unique piece of audience participation
  3.  Its fun!”

- Izzy Tennyson, writing pathway

With this show I’ve learnt about several different approaches to theatre and the various requirements for all the different creative roles within the making of a show. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge in areas I was unaware of previously and now have both the skills and confidence to stage manage when I was a novice before. The entire Almeida team have been really supportive throughout the devising process and I feel I’ve had both more fun and training than I have had during this year at university.”
- Hanley Quintrell

“Three reasons to see ‘Last Words You’ll Ever Hear’:

1. Its a weird and wonderful show.

2. Its a mixture of light and dark, and music.

3. The creative team are unique and original.”

- Melissa Tehrani, performance pathway

“The process of devising a piece that combines the abstract and reality was challenging but also enjoyable.”
- Sarah Yesufu, performance pathway

“I have enjoyed the whole experience, I have loved working with the whole team and especially with the creative team. I have learned about how to be more experimental.”
- Tanya Reynolds, performance pathway

Three reasons to see ‘Last Words You’ll Ever Hear’:

1. It’s darkly surreal.

2. It will make you laugh at things that you shouldn’t.

3. It has an epic musical number.”

- Felix Guyer, performance pathway

“I have very much enjoyed participating in the directing pathway at the Almeida. Being so heavily involved in the devising process, along with having such a close contact with the acting process has helped me build on skills needed to be a good director. Alongside this I have learned a lot about the different departments and how they come together.

Three reasons to see the show:

  1.  To support young people looking to start their careers in the arts
  2.  To see a play that explores relevant issues in society
  3.  As an audience member you are given the opportunity to effect the development of the play”

- Paula Paz, directing pathway

Last Words You’ll Hear will be performed as part of Latitude Festival from 18 – 20 July 2014. For more information, click here.