Monday, 24 October 2011

What do I know?

Not a lot it seems. As I sit here nursing the remains of my hangover from last night’s after show party, I have to admit, the last few weeks have been something of an education. When it was first mooted at a committee meeting that we should consider doing Lear, I admit I wasn’t totally convinced myself. It’s so long, it’s so dense (all those words!) , it needs so many men!  And how many people would want to come and sit through 3 hours plus of it?

That said, if we are going to do it, then I’d be auditioning – the chance to play either of the wicked sisters was far too tempting!

Then I heard we were doing workshops through the summer – character, text and movement. Good stuff, but all through the summer? Then we had only 4 weeks to rehearse the whole thing from scratch - surely too short?! And we had to learn all our lines (I say again, all those words!) before we rehearsed a single scene? Impossible – how can you really learn your lines before your moves?

Well, it turns out, you can and it’s a good idea (especially in a short rehearsal period!) even if you do whinge about it at the time - easier for those of us with fewer lines to learn of course. The workshops were on the whole fun, illuminating and interesting and they kick-started the bonding process of a large cast of various ages and experience, into a company. (Still not totally convinced about my personal Laban effort though – sorry Sophy)

On top of all this, we had arguably the strongest cast across the board I’ve ever been lucky enough to act with and a fabulous creative and production team to boot. But the proof of the pudding has to be that as we played to a thousand people during last week, it seems people not only want to come and sit through 3 hours plus of King Lear, they (mostly) loved it. 

This week, I shall miss my fellow nuncles, my red dress and our own wooden "globe".

So to conclude, I’ll borrow the exit line of my erstwhile character, the Duchess of Albany herself and simply say “Ask me not what I know!”

Sunday, 23 October 2011

The Final Curtain

It's always a mixture of regret and relief when the final curtain comes down on a production - or, as in this case, the final fade-down....regret that the ensemble won't be together again and relief that it all went so well. Fantastic performances from all and a real feeling of togetherness. I hope the cast have got as much out of the process as I have and that everyone has pushed their boundaries a little further.