The Empress

Over the past few months I have been working on The Empress, with the Collaborative and Devised Acting group at Central.

‘It is 1887 and Rani Das and Abdul Karim arrive at London’s Tilbury Docks after a long sea voyage from India. Rani, an Indian ayah, is ruthlessly abandoned by the English family that brought her to London and has to battle for survival. Abdul Karim, who has been sent to the palace as a jubilee gift, has to face increasing scrutiny about the closeness of his relationship, as servant and munshi, to Queen Victoria.’

It was an interesting opportunity to create a really diverse soundscape of not only Victorian London, but also a ship out at sea and also the docklands. This meant there was a lot of exciting material to be created. I also did a lot of experimenting using riffle microphones in the wings to reinforce speech through the main PA whilst trying to maintain a good sonic image, so it was also a good chance to work with delay to achieve this.

Photos of the production provided by Zak Macro