We checked in with Do You Love Me Yet? co-creator Samuel E. Taylor to find out the inspiration behind this brand new digital show and what audiences can expect from the performance in advance of its OP Premiere next week!
How did this show come about?
It’s actually quite difficult to talk about the show without giving the game away for both actors and audience *BUT* during a coffee break in rehearsal for a different production a few years ago Jocelyn Cox (co-director) started talking about the research study that Do You Love Me Yet? draws inspiration from. I hadn’t heard of the study prior to Jo bringing it up, but we spent the rest of the time that day talking about this new idea when we should have been focused on the other show.
There are immediate and obvious dramatic themes inherent to the topic of the original study but the dramaturgically exciting thing about the core of the experiment was for us the gesture of inviting actors to be themselves on stage. Being spontaneous. Being brave. Making choices. Getting through something together. Sharing some jeopardy and getting to know each other.
What interests you most about theatre making?
What can audiences expect from the show?
Two actors having a conversation about all the terrifyingly vast and vanishingly insignificant moments of life without actually having a conversation.
What sort of experience is Do You Love Me Yet? for the actors?
The show requires two different actors for each performance who have never met and are unrehearsed. They get a short technical and ethical briefing beforehand. They are told not to reveal or do anything they don’t feel comfortable doing. Every person who has taken part in the work during research and development has taken something valuable from it. From a performance perspective I think the form demonstrates to non-actors an admirable quality of collective endeavour. For the actors I think the experience is about listening and connecting, and for want of a better phrase, being present.
What do you hope audiences will feel after watching the production?
That they are more generous with one another.
Do You Love Me Yet? is Commissioned by Oxford Playhouse with support from TORCH (University of Oxford) as part of the Humanities Cultural Programme, developed with support from Ferment, Bristol Old Vic. Created by Jocelyn Cox & Samuel E. Taylor with Design by Grace Venning
Each performance will feature two different cast members, who meet for the first time and are then prompted to answer questions, complete tasks and tell stories about themselves. With no rehearsal, the actors are invited to be brave and spontaneous. Every performance is unique for both the actors and the audience.
The cast for the performances of Do You Love Me Yet? include Rudi Dharmalingam, Lauren Drummond, Alex Lawther, Rehanna MacDonald, Patrick Osborne, Rachel Nwokoro, John Pfumonjena, Anne Queensbury, E M Williams and Angus Wright.
Do You Love Me Yet? premieres next week online Mon 2 - Wed 4 & Sat 7 Nov. Tickets are £6 per device. For more information and to book tickets, CLICK HERE