Show Day

I was going to have a lie-in this morning. I’d set my alarm for a decadent 9.00am, and was maybe going to snooze even after that, and then perhaps lounge in bed and read for an hour or so. This lie-in, coupled with a quiet day, during which all I had to do before 5.00pm was buy some gaffer tape, a small rag doll and some herbs (don’t ask – shopping lists for plays are always odd!), was going to set me up to be refreshed and relaxed, ready for four shows over three days.

That was the plan.

The reality? It’s currently 8.30am and, after a restless night’s sleep, full of snatches of disturbingly strange dreams, I have been resolutely awake since 6.45am. As for my intention to lie-in and read: well, I can’t concentrate on anything for long, so that’s out of the question… It’s definitely show day!

Years ago, when I was a drama student, I read Simon Callow’s book Being An Actor. Towards the end of the book, he writes about an actor on the day of a show, and about how the knowledge of the show in the evening absolutely colours the day, making ordinary activities seem strange – and even dangerous, if they draw too much focus from the character the actor is playing. Although I’m a director, not an actor, this is exactly how I feel today.

I wonder how my cast members are doing? Our dress rehearsal was the night before last  (I always like to leave the evening before a show clear for everyone to rest, if I can) and, apart from a couple of phone-calls, one or two texts and a few tweets, I’ve not been in touch with them. I was pleased overall with the dress rehearsal: the pace slowed too much in places; one or two characters still need to project a little more at times; a handful of lines were dropped and one of the scene changes needs to speed up, but otherwise things are in place. I’m glad it wasn’t perfect; if a dress rehearsal is too good, there’s a real risk of complacency. I guess, then, I believe in the saying that a bad dress rehearsal means a good show – as long as it’s not too bad! – if something catastrophic goes wrong, that’s a different story – but when mistakes/faults are the kind of things I’ve listed, adrenalin and an audience generally sort them out on opening night. We’ll see…!

OK. It’s now 9.15am. Blogging has taken up some time at least, but not enough…

It’s going to be a long day…

elaru xx

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