This evening’s blog comes from our renowned Abbess, Emma, who observes, very eloquently, just how much left we have to learn. We had some photos of our rehearsal yesterday, but they’re in the process of being WeTransferred, so you’ll just have to look out for those later.
Time waits for no man, and it certainly doesn’t wait for him (or her) to learn their lines!
The period after the dreaded “books down” is painful for both actor and director alike, as, several weeks through rehearsals, we’ve mainly blocked the show, and we’re now getting physical, moving more, putting feeling into lines, and developing its characters — and for this play, especially its humour, be it linguistic or slapstick. And it’s really hard to get physicality and movement into the play when everyone has their nose in their book (very much like talking to someone who is looking at their phone really), so once the “books down” clarion has happened, it all starts getting interesting.
Unfortunately, it also starts getting REALLY frustrating. Because you can sit in your living room, possibly with a friend, and you can recite those lines absolutely word perfect, feeling – let’s face it – pretty smug with yourself because you have nailed that really long speech, and you even (think) you know who you’re saying it to. But the moment, the very moment, you stand up on stage, even if it isn’t the real stage and just the room you’re rehearsing in, those words fly out of your brain. Someone (more likely than not, the person you weren’t expecting) says a line, and you think “well, I know I’m telling you to go away and leave me alone, but I can’t remember EXACTLY what my words were”. Pretty much everyone had a moment tonight where they ended their speech with “Or words to that effect”.
Today we ran the final scenes, in which it supposedly all comes together… but the prompt (and tonight the stage manager was standing in for the prompt who was poorly) had considerably more lines than anyone else. And partly because we didn’t have the actual prompt, we also had a distracting chorus of voices chime in with the evasive word or line, which would give it a distinctly more Greek tragedy feel, if only we could get them in unison… Some of us might have thought it WAS a Greek Tragedy by the end. Also, we were down a couple of actors, so at one point, the stage manager/prompt was also playing a Twin Antipholus… and various long speeches were interspersed with even more confused and baffled looks, at exactly which twin they were addressing that remark to.
Time is upon us now… we have just over 2 more weeks for the polish… can we pull this rabbit out of the hat? CAN WE DO THE IMPOSSIBLE? You’ll have to be the judge of that! Get your tickets at www.masktheatre.co.uk
This year, to help you contend with the British Summer that will surely descend at any moment, we’ve got an online ticket that you can use any day you want, exactly the same price as buying on the door. (Only excepting Crowland Abbey, which gets a big audience in a small space, so please specifiy if you’re going that night.) Other than, you can buy your ticket now, and turn up any night you choose. See you there!