Interview: Eve Beck (Two Twenty Somethings)
Have the expectations of the perfect life outmatched the realities of growing up? “Two Twenty Somethings” is a new Australian comedy about a generation who feel entitled to happiness. It is a probing look into a society where the expectations of the perfect life have outmatched the realities of growing up. The result will take audiences into the hearts and minds of young people and find nothing there but the little fears that rule their daily lives and the unattainable hope that they will somehow fix themselves.
To kick off, what show are you currently working on and what is your role in the production?
I am directing Two Twenty Somethings Decide Never To Be Stressed About Anything Ever Again. Ever. By Michael Costi
What drew you to this show and why do you think now is the right time to be bringing this story to the stage?
When I first read the script I knew it would thoroughly resonate with audiences as the characters, and circumstances they find themselves in are uncomfortably relatable to a 2020 audience. Michael’s witty and carefully constructed satirical writing also drew me to the work.
What has the experience been like working on this show? What has been unique about this show and your process in comparison to other shows you have worked on?
One interesting part of the process has been conducting ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) rehearsals with Jasmin (playing the role of girfriend). Taking this very intimate experience and developing it for a theatrical audience has been both very strange and a lot of fun. There are endless discoveries to be made when working with this form, we could have almost made a whole other show just with these ASMR elements.
What can audiences look forward to in this show or why do you feel it is a story that they need to hear?
This story comes at a time where there is a feeling of grave uncertainty in the air, particularly for the younger generations. Two Twenty Somethings explores through a satirical comedy these themes of helplessness, existential angst and crippling neuroses that come with being a young person in 2020. The show also presents an interesting exploration of technology with the use of live ASMR on stage.
What has been the most rewarding part of this show to create for you?
We have a relatively young creative team and cast, and the concerns the characters in this story are faced with, are often very relatable (whether or not we would like to admit it). It has been rewarding discussing and unpacking these ideas and themes with the team.
Why is this a production that a 2020 audience cannot miss?
This show will certainly make you laugh, cringe and question the state of the world whilst taking you on a journey through the millennial psyche and find little there, but the fears that rule these young peoples daily lives.
What is a common misconception that people have about your role in the production?
I think the biggest misconception is that the director is the soul creator of the vision. Although of course as a director you come with a clear vision for how you see the production, this idea is constantly being informed, challenged and broken down by the creatives and actors in the team. By the time the production is staged this “vision” is not only the work of the director, but rather an amalgamation of all the ideas tried and tested in the rehearsal room.
What has the rehearsal process been like in bringing this story to life? By the time audiences see this show on stage, what has gone into making it happen?
We have been lucky enough to have already staged the work late last year at Theatreworks for Melbourne Fringe Festival, and are now remounting the production at KXT. I direct a lot of new work, and often when the show goes up and you have an audience to view it for the first time you are able to see what they are responding to, and from there script and staging alterations are made in response to this initial showing. The fact that we have been able to take that feedback and indulge in a second development has been very exciting and necessary for this work.
Do you have any opening night rituals? If so, what are they?
Smile and Wave.
What is something that you take away from each show that you work on? Do you feel like you take a piece of the production with you each time?
Every show I work on I take away a greater understanding of how different creative’s minds work throughout the process, and how these varying analytical and visual understandings can often draw together the most interesting interpretation of the work.
When was the turning point for you when you realised that theatre was not just a hobby but a passion?
At one point you start seeing how every story, image, piece of music and interesting person could be presented in a theatrical way. When you start viewing the world through that lense, its hard to stop.
How did you go about making it your career and is there any one show that you can attribute this to?
I am still in the early stages of my career so I have a lot to learn and a lot more theatre to make. Ask me this question in 10 years and I’d love to hear the response.
Across your work, is there one story, thought or theme that keeps you interested in continuing to create? What stories do you find yourself drawn to the most?
At this stage I am interested mainly in new works that comment on our contemporary zeitgeist; politically, socially and/or morally.
What has been the highlight of your career so far and what is still on your performance bucket list?
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given that you would like to pass on to aspiring theatre makers?
Trust your gut.
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS
What is your favourite production you have ever seen?
The Ferryman by Jez Butterworth
You’re getting on a plane tomorrow and you can go anywhere in the world - where do you go?
What is your dream show to work on?
A work I have always wanted to direct is Laura Wade’s Posh. The play looks at class division and nepotism in the context of British politics and the UK’s University and college culture. Whether we want to admit is or not Australia is facing these issues around class division, elitism and sexism in our private educational systems and University colleges, and I would love to unpack and shine a light on these concerns.
What is a hobby you have beyond the theatre?
I love to cook.
What’s next for you after this show?
A sit down and a glass of wine first up. Then I am assistant directing another show and working on a few readings and developments.
Two Twenty Somethings opens March 25th at Kings Cross Theatre. You can get your tickets here.