Spotlight: Gabrielle Nellis-Pain

It opens tonight! With only a few short hours before The Litterati is introduced to the world, actor Gabrielle Nellis-Pain (‘Hattie’) gives us a run-down of technical rehearsals. Get your tickets now – we’ll see you there!


Walking down graffiti covered tunnels towards VAULT Festival’s site is exciting. It’s oozing with personality and reflects the vibrant and current work that is behind VAULT’s doors.

Yesterday was our first day in the Cavern; the space we will be performing in, which we were itching to get in to. It is massive and quite cold inside but that’s expected considering we’re underneath a bunch of railway tracks so maybe keep your coats on!

Ceilings high, walls dripping wet, uneven and dusty floors that stretch far… that makes it sound a bit grim but staging theatre here is such a cracking use of the site and it is undeniably unique. It couldn’t be more perfect for the Litterati’s hideout. It feels like it belongs to them. Mixed in with Kate [Brooks]’s set that cleverly creates a sense of feeling trapped in such a vast space, it’s obvious why Isla wrote the show with the Cavern in mind.

From a technical point of view, the sound is the first thing I noticed; it’s a new challenge for the actors to adapt our voices to a larger space which echoes and projection will be imperative to allow the sound to travel. The trains overhead are like distant thunder which actually sound appropriate for the underground setting of the Litterati hideout. All in all, it’s made for a very different performance space to that of the intimate rooms at Theatre N16 where we were rehearsing.

Yesterday was our tech and a standard stop-start considered crawl through the script. Paul and Katie have been working closely with Kate and Isla to work on the aesthetics in relation to the space and actors. It’s a clear way to separate the two worlds (the Litteratti hideout and Millie & Hattie’s flat) using lights and positioning while taking into account the entrances/exits, pre-sets and transitions.

Making Millie & Hattie’s flat appear cosy in such a dank space is tricky but has been well executed with warm lighting (and the added luxury of a fluffy rug!), while creating the cold, basement-like, sharp contrast of the Litterati’s hideout is clear and menacing.

Without a doubt, the party scene has been the most fun part to tech… and I’m not even in it! Being in the Cavern combined with lights and music is so close to the set up as a free party that watching it is a mood changer!

With the tech done, everything has finally been brought together and I am certain that I can speak on behalf of all the cast when I say that we are buzzing for tonight and for the rest of the week. It’s been a corker!


Gabrielle Nellis-Pain
Gabrielle has trained at RADA, with The Actors Class and is a member of NYT. Her theatre credits last year include Sophie in Captured (White Slate Theatre, UK tour); and Laura in Boys by Ella Hickson (LOST Theatre).
Later this year, Gabrielle will play Flora in Tennessee Williams’ 27 Wagons of Cotton at the Etcetera Theatre and due to be released, she plays Clara in Seagull, a feature film by White Space Film Productions.
The Litterati runs from 25th to 29th January at VAULT Festival 2017.
Millie lives with her girlfriend, Hattie, who works in insurance in the City. Millie wants to be a serious journalist. At VICE. Now’s her chance – she’s got to write an investigatory piece about the Litterati, a notorious community of which little is known but rumour. When Millie agrees to spend a week with the mysterious gang her world is blown open and she collides with experiences and people she can never forget.
Pushed underground by a world that didn’t want them, The Litterati live a clandestine existence so far removed from Millie’s sheltered experience of the world. But do those who fall behind always get left behind?
You can grab your tickets right here.
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