Proof

by David Auburn

directed by Harry Tuffill

Performed at the

Maskers' Studio Theatre

on

19th to 24th May 2014

"You just have to join the dots together"

Synopsis

This Pulitzer-prize winning play (2001) was written by David Auburn and set in the Chicago suburbs. It centres on 24-year-old Catherine and her relationships with her recently deceased father, Robert, her older sister Claire, and her recently discovered boy friend, Hal.

Catherine has become aware that she may have inherited the same aptitude for Mathematics as her genius father. But has she also inherited his other characteristics? Robert started to show signs of early onset dementia in his mid twenties. And sister Claire doesn’t exactly help with her hints that Catherine has a tendency to instability.  Not to mention Hal who may still be carrying a bit of a bias that females are not as clever at Maths as their male counterparts.

So the questions are, did Catherine really create the proof, and can she convince everyone it was all her own work, and will she find herself “proof” against all these external pressures?

Note: Contains strong language

The Author

David Auburn was born in Chicago, Illinois, moved with his family to Arkansas and graduated with an English Literature degree from the University of Chicago. He also completed a post-graduate play-writing course at Juillard School in New York. He has written several plays, of which Proof is the best known, then the script of the 2005 movie of the play, (Gwyneth Paltrow and Anthony Hopkins) followed by the screenplay of The Lake House (Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock) and more recently he directed and wrote the screen play of The Girl in the Park (Sigourney Weaver).

The Director
Harry Tuffill - Harry has been with Maskers for close on forty years, with short forays to Southampton University Players, Forum Theatre and RAODs. During this time he estimates about fourteen wives and eight mistresses. He now regards learning lines as a young person’s activity.  He has directed at Mottisfont, the Nuffield Theatre, but is now happiest in the studio. In the last few years this included The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-moon Marigolds and Whale Music.
The Cast
Catherine is played by Michelle Heffer. Michelle is a relative newcomer to the stage after deciding to get involved in amateur dramatics less than a year ago. Since then she has appeared in a one act play ‘Semblance of Madness’ with Southampton University Players and also in panto with RAODS earlier this year. Michelle is excited to not only make her debut with Maskers but also to take her first role in a full length play.
Robert is played by Neil Gwynne. Neil joined Maskers to take part in The Graduate at the Nuffield in 2013, and this is his third show in the Studio since then (the others being Frozen and Scaramouche Jones). He will also be directing Betrayal by Harold Pinter at the Studio in September, which has a link to his first ever visit - as a reviewer for the Echo - when he saw the excellent Maskers' production of Pinter's Moonlight. Neil is also an active member of RAODS, where he has previously worked with Claire and Michelle. Together with Rob and Harry, Neil says this has been an excellent team to be part of - both great fun and very creative.
Hal is played by Rob Osborne. Rob has been with Maskers for nearly three years and has been involved with eight productions both backstage and onstage. Proof is his biggest acting role to date and he has relished the challenge of playing an awkward, drum playing, American Maths Geek. He would like to thank the director, cast and crew for supporting him all the way and for giving him at least a vague understanding of Germain Primes and nonlinear operator theory.
Claire is played by Clare Groome. Clare has been acting since playing a sheep in her school nativity. Whilst this is first time acting with Maskers, she's no stranger to the Romsey am-dram scene, appearing in a number of plays and musicals with RAODS as well as stage managing and sound operating. Clare is enjoying her first foray into the Maskers Studio in Proof, especially the challenge of the American accent. She's mainly pleased she doesn't have to demonstrate any maths knowledge!
 
The Crew  
Production Manager Ruben Sanchez-Garcia
Stage Manager Basha Dorcikova
Stage Manager Supervisor Ian Wilson
Lighting Designer Mike Matthias
Lighting Operators Mike Matthias & Paul Crowhurst
Lighting Consultant Clive Weeks
Sound Designer Jamie McCarthy
Sound Operator Susan Fridd
Set Design Peter Liddiard
Set Construction Roger Lockett, Ken Hann, Geoff Cook, Graham Buchannan, Peter Liddiard
Costumes Serena Brown
Properties Adam Taussik
Marketing Sarah Russell, Angie Stansbridge & Team
FoH Display Nay Walton
Box Office Chris Baker
Photography Clive Weeks
Bar Manager Jan Spiers

Reviews

10:14am Tuesday 20th May 2014 in Curtain Call By Ham Quentin
"DAVID AUBURN'S play opens with an affectionate dialogue between Robert (NEIL GWYNNE), a brilliant mathematics professor, and his daughter Catherine (MICHELLE HEFFER'S Maskers début), in the back yard of his run down house in the North Lake area of Chicago.
Robert hopes his daughter will follow his example, passionately urging her to avoid wasting her talent and "work". So it comes as a shock when the entrance of Hal (ROB OSBOURNE) - an ambitious student of Robert's, who hopes to profit from any of his tutor's undiscovered proofs - reveals that Robert has in fact died recently, his health broken by early onset dementia.
Catherine - already suffering from grief and fear that she may have inherited her father's condition - suffers more pressure from her sister Claire's arrival from New York (CLARE GROOME, also débuting).
Intense performances, especially Heffer and Gwynne's, are well presented by HARRY TUFFILL'S direction, PETER LIDDIARD'S set and MIKE MATTHIAS' lighting design."

 

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