Spotlight on... Lara De Leuw (Assistant Stage Manager)

Spotlight on... Lara De Leuw (Assistant Stage Manager)

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

by Philippa Williams

Lara De Leuw talks about being assistant stage manager for the Touring Consortium Theatre Company's A View from the Bridge. As well as this role, she is also the understudy for the characters of Beatrice and Catherine. 

The role of the assistant stage manager includes many different jobs that Lara has had to do for the first time as she has never been an ASM before.

“There is a lot to be done. I've never done assistant stage managing before, this is the first time I've ever done it so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I basically do everything that needs to be done in regard to props. I've got to maintain the props and make sure if it's broken, it's replaced and if it needs fixing, it's fixed. In the play, there's a cooking scene and I have to cook all the food, so every day I make pasta and sauce. We have gluten free pasta because one of our actors is gluten intolerant and it's gluten free sauce as well so you've got to know what people need and what people are good with.” 

“I'm very good at killing plants, that plant over there is now our third plant which is alright at the moment, they use fresh herbs so we have a basil plant”

Lara also has the added pressure of being the understudy for not one but two characters. She understudies for the characters of Beatrice and Catherine.

“For the first two weeks, I focused on the understudying side so the ASM role didn't get done the way it was supposed to. Then I was told that I actually needed to focus on the ASM role more, so that's been a learning curve as well. During understudy rehearsals, John Alastair who is understudying Eddie, will be talking to me as though I'm Catherine when I'm supposed to be Beatrice which confuses everybody then confuses me. It's not a problem when I'm not in the same scene as myself!”

Lara feels that when the production has finished its tour, it will feel like losing part of her family.

“The people are amazing, the cast are just lovely, there is not one person who isn't friendly or happy. They all have their own personalities and they all gel so well. It does feel like a family.”

A View from the Bridge opened at Theatre Royal, Nottingham, where it ran from 4 to 7 March 2015. It then toured to Cheltenham, Darlington, Wolverhampton, Bradford, Coventry and Edinburgh, where it concluded on 2 May.