Saturday, June 12, 2004

It’ll be alright on the night (Peter Oswald’s “The Golden Ass”)

After four months in rehearsal, you’d think a play would have a fairly smooth set of dress rehearsals. But with a cast of twenty-something, several score of freshly-made costumes, and only having access to our outdoors venue (a college garden) two days in advance of the play – and being told we could not make noise until the day of the first performance – there was plenty of scope for scares.

Especially given my propensity for forgetting half my lines in Act Two (strange the psychological difference actually having to deliver the lines in a taffeta ball-gown made to my ability to remember them).

We finished the dress rehearsal an hour before we let the audience in, and were still finding scenes we could not get through without corpsing (actors laughing at each other on stage) or things that needed to be re-staged for props to work.

And then suddenly, there they were.

The audience, on their picnic blankets. But from the opening cabaret number, they were entirely on board. There was the odd moment when an item of costume went missing and someone had to grab whatever was to hand, I inserted an extra line in a speech, slightly throwing someone else’s cue, but it all went off brilliantly.

Even the lines I deliver in the ball-gown before waltzing backwards with someone in a wedding dress.

Which was the perfect reason to be drinking until three in the director’s flat on the opening night. One shudders to think what the closing night party will be like – especially given that I and the producer have to go to telephone fundraising training the next day (possibly straight from a cooked breakfast at the director’s).

After a little rain this morning, the sun is out. I hope that holds for tonight’s show.

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