Evangeline Harcourt and the top ten things I (Carmen Duncan) discovered about her:
1. She loves living in the 30’s because it’s such a ‘gay’ period after the first World War and before the next one. As an actor I enjoyed researching that era.
2. Evangeline has a great affection for her daughter and is thrilled with the prospect of her marrying for status and money.
3. She is most delighted that he is a ‘Lord’, titled and English and therefore panders to his every wish.
4. She tries very hard to be ‘proper’ and conventional. Although I don’t believe she was born into High Society, she married into it.
5. She is very manipulative and pushes both her daughter and Eli into improving themselves.
6. In fact she is the one in need of a lot of improvement. We hope her life on board the ship, with all its challenges, will accomplish that!
7. As the character is larger than life the actor is challenged in many ways to make her still believable.
8. Mrs Harcourt is always beautifully dressed. And as the play is set in the 30s it is necessary to physically work in the period with the clothes, by discarding modern gestures.
9. Evangeline uses a different accent from anyone else in the play as she lives on Long Island with the wealthy and mixes with ‘High Society’. I watched many films made in the 30s and listened to a lot of women to find her accent.
10. Being a musical, one has to get all the ingredients together. Learn the lines and moves to create the actor, learn the lines of the songs and sing the music and finally learn the dancing and put it all together and hope you don’t sink! No one wants to go down with the boat!