Cast of ‘Secret’ production do some kissing and telling
DIRECTING a kissing scene in a theatrical production isn't as easy as it seems.
It isn't a matter of just telling the actors to 'go for it' as that can look sloppy on many levels.
Settling for a fake stage kiss for comfort's sake can also result in a less than convincing encounter.
Throw in the fact that it's your wife and good friend who you are encouraging to perform this lip-locking exercise and there's a whole lot of other obstacles to surmount to get a romantic pinnacle moment just right.
Desan Padayachee is director of the Criterion Theatre's newest production Secret Bridesmaids' Business, his wife of 11 years Misty Fisher the leading lady while The Daily Examiner's sports editor is filling the shoes of James the questionable groom.
Desan said the play's sole kiss between the pair had to be a tender one and look believable so there was a little bit of work to do to get it right.
"It had to be one of those kisses like you would see in a wedding photo so there was no way they could just turn their heads and pretend they were kissing (stage kiss). It had to look real."
While a lot of men might find the process of encouraging and talking their wives through an intimate act with a dashing lead male actor, Desan said it helped working with a crew he was already familiar with.
"We all know each other personally and are all professionals so I didn't really think anymore of it when I cast them both in the lead roles."
On the other hand Desan said Misty and Bill were like a couple of giggling school kids when they had to perform their first few practice smooches.
"There was a bit of anxiety in the room, so I had to get stern about it and treat the scene very clinically."
This included about eight steps of direction from 'the look', to the 'face touch' through to the lip contact finale.
Bill said he had officially kissed Misty three times during practice now. "It's not like those scenes take 12 rehearsals to get it right," he laughs.
And while this stage kiss will be Misty's first, The DEX sports editor already had 'form' having once planted his smackers on three different women in a stage play in Newcastle.
"I was a shop window mannequin in that one."
Desan said he did have fleeting thoughts about whether sparks fly while directing such tender moments but said his wife best summed up what it felt like performing initmate scenes on stage.
"She said there really was a clear separation between your head and heart up there. It's a very mechanical process despite what the audience is seeing."
Having said that Desan did meet his wife working in a theatrical production together although under much less intimate circumstances.
"I was a Pharaoh and she played my niece who I ended up entombing alive."