09 Jan Sarah Finch – Shakespeare In Cuba
At ACG’s AGM Sarah Finch was interviewed about her life as an actor and director. Her earliest TV role was in BBC’s ‘The Pickwick Papers’ and later she worked with Riding Lights and Ricky Everett, from whom she heard about the ACG. She worked next door to the ACG centre with Upstream Theatre and in projects directed by ACG member Norman Stone. These include roles in the film Man Dancin’ and Channel 4’s Play In A Week , which involved a play being written, cast, rehearsed and performed live in one week; an experience she described as ‘interesting and scary!’
Sarah ‘accidentally’ starting directing in 2000 when asked to take on the musical, Streetlight. It travelled to many places including Cuba and she now goes there regularly to direct Shakespeare plays. In 2016 she organised a Shakespeare Festival. Even though told not to proselytise, her faith can’t help but escape when teaching. Her students have very little and are so grateful for her being there. They live from the heart and need little direction, coming out with the most extraordinary things. For example, Twelfth Night begins with a shipwreck so they said, ‘why don’t we make a boat?’ Within 40 seconds they formed a boat with their bodies.
Sarah tours the show, Yours Ever Jane which opens with Jane Austen trying to decide the title of her famous book, ‘Pride & Prejudice’. Originally called ‘First Impression’, it was rejected by return of post and only years later did it succeed when the title was changed. She is working on a play about Etty Hillesum entitled, ‘In Transit: Etty In Her Own Words’. Etty wanted to become a writer and to travel but she died in Auschwitz. However she left some amazing diaries which now allow Sarah to say, “You will travel – you’ll travel in me”. Sarah concluded the evening with a riveting performance of an extract from the play.
Photo courtesy of Jason Blackwood.
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