If you have been following my blog, you may know that this week was the first panto free week and we were all feeling a little less than sparkly. However, the silver lining of pantomime finishing meant that it was time to restart rehearsals for Nineteen12’s Production of Roald Dahl’s The Witches. The first rehearsal of 2015! *Cheering crowd noises*.
I had learnt my lines and done a bit of characterisation work in my down time during panto, so I was totally ready… until I arrived at the studio and got back together with everyone. Then I immediately forgot all my lines and turned into Stacy Solomon and Igor’s love child. It did all come back to me though, as it often does when you’re working through the script with all the other actors and are in the moment. Almost like muscle memory, you just remember. Sometimes I find that the pressure of performing in front of other actors can be a little intimidating, and I sometimes get a bit of stage fright when I have to bear such personal work to other people for the first time who have the absolute tools to scrutinise every choice and move you make if they so wished. Luckily, I have a lovely show family who are incredibly encouraging and friendly, so I feel like I’m in safe hands and can be free to test the waters and get creative!
We also had a visit from some real life mice! Honestly, they were adorable. It was also helpful to get close to the animals were all meant to be imitating. I don’t think I will be eating any mealworms though. One did attempt an escape into the packet of mealworms, cheeky little monkey, but missed. He was caught up with très rapidement. Mice are tough little guys. New love for them.
The props are slowly starting to come to life thanks to our fabulous creative team and in all honesty I’m having an absolute ball relearning and rediscovering my craft after such a long absence and I couldn’t be happier to be back on the stage. I feel so at home performing and I forgot how alive it makes me feel after spending so long working backstage or, more so, behind the camera.
During this rehearsal we also found out that a third of our shows for the run have already sold out and the majority of the other shows are down to the last two or three seats! The pressure is on, but I know it will not disappoint. I am also really excited to get started on adapting the show for our Audio Described and Signed performances and our Relaxed performances. These are so super important to everyone on board and it makes me so happy to think that we are able to open up the theatre to more and more people. The arts are simply incredible and making them accessible to as many people as possible is a fantastic thing to be part of.
Now where did I put that Mouse Maker…
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