In the run up to this latest production of Death at Dawn, director Neil Armstrong talks about directing the show, and the legacy left by its first director, Jackie Fielding.
Jackie Fielding who directed the first production of “Death at Dawn” was a friend of mine. We worked together many times since I first met her in the early 2000s. I, like many others, couldn’t quite believe it when she passed away last year aged just forty seven.
As I’m writing this I’m looking at a big, daft, red swivel chair that takes up half my living room, and I can picture Jackie nestled in it after we’d gone out and got drunk one night for no particular reason (or none that I can remember anyway.). I really miss her not being around and I know of many, many people who feel the same. She did an awful lot of good in her life and I’ll never forget her.
It was with those thoughts in mind that I agreed to direct the second outing of “Death at Dawn” after Pete Mortimer approached me and asked me if I’d like to take it on. We both agreed that if we were going to do it, we ought to do it the way Jackie did. I had no interest whatsoever in “putting my own stamp on it” or any other such directorial/egotistical/ambitious nonsense – no – we’ll do it the Jackie way! So armed with a DVD of the previous production and a copy of the prompt copy this is what we are going to do. I must admit – it’s a first for me – I’ve never had to re-create another person’s show before but we do have the same crew and ninety percent of the original cast back so I’m more than hopeful we can pull it off.
So this one’s for you Jackie. Rest in peace lovely. Neil x