A forty page monologue that sprawls across a century or two, lurching in and out of insane asylums, spitting out mad doctors, rapists, tortured parents and mystical fishermen, driven by a purgatory-trapped soul and a young man fighting to manage his schizophrenia.
In early June 2016, Goldele Rayment sent me a copy of Morgan Stern by the playwright Gina Schien. She described it as a “darling new one man show” and thought I might be interested in performing it under her direction. I read the play and my first impression was that it was way too big for me. An hour and a quarter on stage alone with just a chair??
I started work on it immediately.
The truth and tragedy of Morgan Stern has kept me in a trance for over a year now with a preview season at Blood Moon theatre in late 2016 and another preview at Belvoir Street in mid 2017. I keep digging into it in rehearsal and in performance it is still a monster to be wrestled every night. Sometimes I feel like I come out on top, other nights I creep home telling myself it’s only a play and it doesn’t really matter. Sometimes it runs by itself through my 3a.m. subconscious, the characters taking on a disturbing life of their own, teasing me on.
In a week or two I land in London to sniff for the vestige of the dirty semi savage life of early 1800’s London where the Gent at the centre of Morgan Stern lived and died. Then its on to Edinburgh for a 3 week run. Exciting and frightening.
Graeme Rhodes – Principal Actor playing The Gent in Morgan Stern