Sunday, 15 July 2012

Tech-tock, tech-tock

Ah, the delights of the technical rehearsal. The stop-and-start rehearsal where, unavoidably, the performers are caught out two ways: either we are poised for the next entrance which doesn't then happen for the next ten minutes (as the techies are adjusting the lights), or we sit down in the Green Room assuming that nothing will happen for ages - and then the cry goes up over the tannoy, calling your character urgently to the stage...

We work through the first act and just make it into the second. Rosey's superb arrangement of props - marked out backstage in labelled areas of masking tape - is of great reassurance (my sovereign coin, used for paying Mrs Northrop, has its own inked place on the shelf). Some scenes are dispensed with quickly and easily, others take fairly long periods of adjustment. The 'crockery box' (dropped backstage) is dropped rather too enthusiastically on the first occasion, with the result that bits of china spill out backstage. The negotiating of the garden wall proves interesting for the lovely Becca, who needs to retain at least some dignity in her long skirt. The practicalities of pouring out drinks, without spilling them, within the span of the allotted lines, cause some difficulties; and the inevitable spills and damp wine stems (happily only tinted water) are alarming when wearing pastel colours. Bells and telephones ring (sometimes). The lights come and go in an experimental and slightly bewildering fashion. 

On top of this, we have full costume for the first time. Including, in some cases, wigs. Kiera's beautiful long hair is easily adapted to an Edwardian style, but Julie and myself sport very twenty-first century short cuts in real life. Happily, we have professionally styled, hired wigs, which are truly a thing of beauty. I change my Facebook profile picture, in time-honoured fashion, and an old friend comments "I take it this is your Mrs Merton period?". Oh, it's such a long way from playing Rosalind... I have now irreversibly crossed the generational divide, methinks. It's middle-aged ladies all the way from now on.

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