Thursday, 19 July 2012

First night

What a night that was. We know that, by tradition, first night is well-populated with colleagues in the local theatre fraternity (we won't mention that members get reduced-price tickets on that occasion); but it was such an encouragement to see a virtually full theatre, and to be met with such warmth and appreciation. The new challenges of timing lines against laughs can't be rehearsed, of course; that's one thing that has to wait until it's done for real. The bells rang on time, Ormonroyd's flashgun went off as intended, entrances were timely...

Well, actually, one entrance very nearly wasn't. My first entrance in Act III is made with basket over arm, hat on head and shawl around shoulders ("I'm going back to my mother"). I stood there in the wings waiting for my entrance, complete with basket - and realised, with about sixty seconds to go, that I'd totally forgotten to add the hat and shawl. I flew back to the dressing-room, grabbed the shawl (no time for the hat, of course) and made it back to the stage with seconds to spare.

When I related this story after curtain-down, Penny said "Oh - I thought you were just making Maria more distressed than you had before..." No - I was actually severely out of breath.

Maria blushes and knows it's a mistake she won't make again.

Thank you to our wonderful first-night audience, to the cast and crew for their focus and talent, to Genevieve for our single red roses. Now to focus on maintaining, and improving, the excitement and pace of that first fine, careless rapture.

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