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A picture of our Guest:  LYNN FARLEIGH returning for her third LSW visit to work her magic in an LSW Work for Commetary session with three lucky LSW Members.   Here Lynn is discussing the work after the session with LSW member Neve Taylor.

Those doing the Work for Commentrary included RICHARD NOCK (Orlando's opening speech); NEVE TAYLOR (revitalising Isabella) and STEVEN McMURRAY (assaulting Angelo for the first time).

Lynn Farleigh is to London what Uta Hagen is to New York. A actress supreme in her ability to articulately share her craft, Lynn will shortly re-open in the celebrated RSC revival of The Family Reunion at the Barbican opposite Maggie Tyzack and LSW Guest Greg Hicks. At the National Theatre Lynne’s credits, among many, include Machinal, Inadmissible Evidence, The Way South, Inventing a New Colour, The Mysteries, The Orton Diaries, The Crucible, Close of Play and Brand; with the English Shakespeare Company her acclaimed work has included Lady M in Macbeth; Volumnia in Coriolanus and in The Winter’s Tale. Moreover, Lynn has been hailed fro her work at theatres throughout the UK including Royal Exchange, Manchester: All My Sons; Stephen Unwin’s celebrated production of The Price for the Oxford Stage Company; at Theatre Clwyd, Mold in The Daughter-in-Law; and at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, The Lodger: On the box, Lynn is perhaps best known as Helen Wycliffe in Wycliffe, but has also been hugely praised for appearances in Out of the Past, The Ice House, Inspector Morse, Casualty, The Bill, Castles, Pride and Prejudice, Finney, Ruth Rendall - Mouse in the Corner; Sweet Nothings, Steptoe and Son. On Film Lynn’s credits include One Golden Afternoon, Watership Down and Three Into Two Won’t Go.
LSW could not have had a more rousing start to the new century than by cementing traditional routines with  filling filigrees of renewed energy and original inspiration.  We found ourselves in the Grand Hall as Nellie was having two (count them: 2) MAD parties (e.g., birthdays for the junior sets) down below and, blessedly, although the Grand Hall's acoustic can sometimes be hollow, blessedly the floors are solid.  The LSW communal clap worked a treat in the warm-up and there was evidenced some beautifully etched original responses to lines of Shakespearean text, especially in a absorbing conversation utilising 'Gallop Apace', with ANNE-MARIE SHARP stunning one and all with her theatrically breathtaking 'original' calm in the eye of an immediate dramatic storm.  It was as refreshing as it was riveting.  Clumps saw the magnificent return of MAX BONAMY, currently appearing in the West End opposite Edward Fox in The Chiltern Hundreds, so clearly depicting (as is Max's wont) the opening chorus from Troilus & Cressida and much communal merriment was evidenced amongst  longstanding LSW members and newcomers alike.

And then LYNN entered and the magic truly commenced.  We are so lucky to have this magnificent performer and communicator as a resource.  She is indeed a treasure to be cherished and every time she works on a piece at LSW it is transformed.  Here, Orlando found not only his leather jacket but the thrust of the play's argument; Isabella came alive from the deep depth of the stage communicating her agony in the simplest of means across space and Angelo found the truth of the humour -- or is it 'the humour of truth' -- which can be so extraordinarily ellusive.  The standard of work was high, each a beginning brought forward as was to be expexted when overseen by as magnificient a 'sharer' as Lynn surely is.  We are indeed blessed.  My answerphone has been rife in Lynn's praise throughout the week.   Having arrived back from New York at a quarter to one on the morning of the same day, I can think of no better cure for jet lag.  Would that it could be bottled.

The first LSW session this century fulfilled our expectations with a marvellous session hosted by Lynn Farleigh.

We all have pieces which are either overworked, extant in a tired combination of 'dusty and tired' or simply 'new and daunting'. Working alone on a speech can sometimes get so complicated that we end up not seeing the wood for the trees! Lynn breathed new life into the actors, sharing her experience and understanding of the actors job with grace and humour.  She has an excellent way of communicating whilst directing, in a language the actor can easily absorb. Her clear, direct advice instantly transformed the work and refocused us to the task in hand.  She hones in on the barriers that prevent the audience having a relationship and response to the actor and deals with those problems step by step, using simple techniques and adjustments to keep the actors mind off himself and on his character! She reminded us that there is always a way through an acting problem, the answer is often in the text; just take a deep breath and enjoy working it out!

Thank you to Lynn for giving up your valuable time to inspire us.

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