Countdown to Robin Hood at the Hawth in Crawley
The Hawth in Crawley is a hugely important venue for Louise Lord who will be playing Little John in their in-house production of Robin Hood this summer (Thursday, July 8-Sunday, July 11; Thursday-Sunday, 6pm, Saturday and Sunday 2pm).
“I used to go to The Hawth when I was younger,” says Louise. “I did Rock Challenge there with my school. There was a dance competition challenge that schools entered, and I did it when I was 15. And I did the Grease summer school at The Hawth. That was the first time I had acted properly actually, and I learnt a lot from it. It was a really amazing thing to be doing. It is lovely to be coming back to it professionally now.”
Louise graduated last year from the University of Northampton’s acting course, during which she had the pleasure of portraying characters such as Katherina in Taming of the Shrew, Belinda in Seasons Greetings and Mildred in Fahrenheit 451.
“I loved it there. We got to learn different things. It was amazing. That’s where I learnt stage combat which I love. And we did singing and acting and dancing and we got to do all the shows. I loved every part of it even if we didn’t get the last three months of it.”
With lockdown, things went online instead: “We did an online showcase. It was very difficult. We had to do scenes with each other and edit voices in. It wasn’t very easy, but I got an agent as I came out of it.
“I think there were a few wobbles at the end of the course. It was frustrating that we didn’t get to finish it properly, but I do think it also made me push harder. It made me feel a bit more resilient. I was thinking that if I can get through lockdown as an actor, then I can get through OK. When lockdown first hit, it was extremely hard, but towards the end of the course, I think I found more resolve.”
And the great news is that no one dropped out. Nor – a year later – has anyone since: “I think all the actors are still going.”
Louise is delighted now to be counting down to Robin Hood Her sister saw it advertised: “I saw the description, professional outdoor theatre with stage combat… and I just love stage combat. We did courses at university and I loved it and I did extra courses as well. You get used to using lots of different weapons. The most fun I have had is pretending to fight!
“At my audition for Robin Hood, the director said ‘You have got a lot of weapons listed on your CV!’ It was knife and sword and staff and so on, and I just said ‘Yes! I love it!
“It is choreographed so that it is safe, but you do have to know what move comes next. It means a lot of practice otherwise you might get hurt. But yes, it is safe. You just need to make sure you don’t forget the next move because then it becomes a bit dangerous. So just don’t forget the next move!
“But I have had a few (injuries). I did rope and I got whipped around the head… which was interesting!”
Dave Watmore, The Hawth general manager said, “After an incredibly difficult year for the theatres and the entire world it is an absolute joy to see live performances coming back to venues across the country, including The Hawth. It is even more exciting to have the chance to build on the success we experienced with Treasure Island last year, with our second in-house show.”
Tickets on www.hawth.co.uk.