If you come backstage at Chester Little Theatre these days, you are as likely to hear Spanish spoken as English! It’s not that we’re doing a play by Lorca – no, it’s definitely that amusing play, Confusions, by the master of comedy, Alan Ayckbourn. It’s just that our two Stage Managers are both Spanish speakers.
Seen here with the clipboard is Clara. Her Spanish comes from her father, who is Argentinian, but having an English mother means that her English has little trace of an accent. Clara is a friend of Charlie Núñez and was persuaded to stage-manage last season’s production of The Things Good Men Do, in which Charlie was appearing. Clara is also a great person to have backstage: very reliable, friendly and warm. She made her acting debut in Moving Stories, performed last June in the Salisbury Studio to raise money during Refugee Week. Having studied languages at university, she now works with figures rather than words, in the charitable-giving department of a local firm.
Clara’s side-kick is Victor. He is Spanish-born, so Spanish is his first language although his English is excellent; Victor now works in the accounts department of a local firm though having studied journalism, he still hankers after a career as a journalist. When asked how he came to be involved in the Little Theatre, he said that the person working at the desk next to his was Laura Smith (seen in The Lark, Hedda Gabler, A MidsummerNight’s Dream, Improbable Fiction, among many others) who persuaded him to come along. Victor is an excellent person to have back stage: organised, calm, knows just what to do and when to do it.
So it’s really quite exotic backstage at the Little Theatre nowadays – just so long as no-one mentions the Armada or the Malvinas …