The House on the Lake: Director Kim Hardwick


As we approach opening night, The House on the Lake director, Kim Hardwick writes ‘around’ the play and examines why the thrill of discovery never gets old.

I would like to write nothing about this play. 

No Director’s Notes.

The reason for my reticence is embodied in the play itself, so with that in mind, and the knowledge that your personal experiencing of the play will follow, I’ll circumvent the obstacle of Director’s Notes and write ‘around’ the play and not ‘about’ it.  And that statement may be in itself a clue to the nature of the material.

Persona, for Carl Jung, was the social face that the individual presented to the world, often to impress or conceal. In a theatrical context, Persona refers to the Mask.

The investigative unmasking of both narrative and character are of particular interest and fascination in The House on the Lake and the consequences of that investigation isn’t a state of mind that’s calmed and comforted by knowledge. The revelation is chilling. A burning chill.

Theatre is a parade of personas where the tensions between what is revealed and concealed, what is true and false, what is seen or imagined, continually fascinates both the creators and the audience. The thrill of discovery never grows old.

Jeanette Cronin, Kim Hardwick + Huw Higginson

Entrapment, ambiguity, distortion, perception, mystery, horror and the legacy of Edgar Allen Poe have been hot topics during the process of unmasking this play for the Griffin stage.

It’s an intriguing undertaking for a director. Where to start, what to visualise, how to resolve? A puzzle, a sturdy piece of filigree, a dark alley, a ticking bomb, a psychological minefield, a whodunit, a whydunnit?

Aidan has provided all of the above and more.

My gratitude is extended to the team at Griffin who have been uncompromising in their support of this production however, if truth be known, my heart lies with the designers and cast.

The stage can sometimes feel as if it’s transforming into a colossal beast, devouring your value and will, but when salvation comes in the shape of collaborators of this stature then all the howling and thrashing of the creative process becomes a vocabulary that invigorates and inspires.

It’s a privilege to have contributed.

Kim Hardwick

The House on the Lake by Aidan Fennessy plays from 15 May – 20 June. Book tickets here.