Recast in the shadow of a star

Arts Hub UK — There's nothing like the pull of a star to get the crowds to the theatre - but what happens when a star is recast? The 39 Steps is off to Broadway after a second extension to its London season. But only one of the four original cast will remain. Marnie McKee spoke to actress Rachel Pickup about the challenges of “holding your own”, stepping into an established product
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Arts Hub UK — Imagine the pressure to perform and perform well on stage, standing in the glow of those bright lights in front of hundreds of people. If you’re born to do it, then you probably feel more exhilarated than exhausted when thinking about it. But the pressure of working in the shadow of a well-known role and a well-loved actor or actress when a show is recast must be greater. The audience will be looking at you with a more than usually critical eye – not to mention your fellow actors. But changing the cast happens all the time.

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Marnie McKee
About the Author
Marnie McKee currently lives in London. In the mid-90’s she co-founded ToyBox Circus staging fire and light shows and art installations Australia-wide. Marnie co-produced two major Bodyweather-based works with dancer/director Leah Grycewicz. They toured Pre-Millenium Drinks across Australia (1998); and staged Stratus999, a 3-month site-specific multi-media dance project involving 8 international artists, in Cairns, Queensland. Marnie studied Bodyweather as part of Tess de Quincey’s Sydney-based dance company (1999-2001). In March 2004, Marnie settled in London and has since concentrated on establishing Bodyweather training in London, with dancer/teacher Rachel Sweeney. Together they have worked as AnonAnon, researching and creating interactive performance for site-based work (ranging from nightclub to national park) using immersive, inhabitational and durational tools. Congruently, Marnie has been training with and performing for Stuart Lynch (of Holberg School) in Oslo and London, and more recently, training with Frank van de Ven of Bodyweather Amsterdam in Holland and France.