The previous Maddermarket production (an excellent show: Ben Jonson's The Alchemist) finished ('came down', as we luvvies put it) last night. We were therefore able to work in the theatre today - albeit on a set designed for the seventeenth century.
I've only performed on this stage once before - I Am A Camera, back in 2009 (as Sally's mother, Mrs Watson-Courtneidge, aka Scary Mummy). A lovely space to work in, although I'd forgotten the slightly disconcerting height of the stage in relation to the audience; it's a particular contrast to my usual performing space at the Sewell Barn, where the watchers' heads - even the first row - are level with and above those of the performers.
Rhett populated the stage with as much of our furniture and props as we already have (actually, the Alchemist's oak-panelled room didn't look too far out of place for Yorkshire merchant classes in 1908). Obviously the entrances are not yet where they'll be. However, it gave us a much-needed 'feel' for the sense of space, both physically and vocally.
We 'staggered' Acts I & II, and once again, it was lovely to see the parts of the story we're not involved in ourselves. It's been some time since I'd seen our 'young lovers', Nancy & Gerald, and I was reminded of yet another huge shift in dynamic: their youth, free expression of affection, Gerald's 'southerner' accent (alone of all the cast) and far less formal presence. It makes an enormous contrast when the six of us - 'the couples' - enter in their middle-class, high-tea-filled satisfaction. Splendid stuff.