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Rehearsal2And so it is that the Squirrels’ Shakespeare is beginning to shape up and blossom.

Amongst other things, we have an ending now – or rather, we have the ending. And a title: Shakespeare in Words – and hang the risotto

And when I say “we”…

Oh dear, I must be mad. I must be – because, after deciding I’d never do it again, and sticking to it for nearly four years, I’m going to play again. As my protagonist-in-progress is fond of saying, my right place is in the Bedlam…

Oh, there was a time – a couple of lives ago – when I wanted very much to be an actress. Then I discovered I’d never be more than goodish, and mostly gave up, and went back to writing plays, and found my place backstage and at the lighting board… I still did the odd bit part when needed – as happens with very small companies, but never more than that. And even that I gave up entirely years ago.  Going back to it terrifies more than a little… And still I’m playing the Chorus. “Who are you?” “I’m not someone, I’m something…”

But never mind. The fact is, we’re working on it in earnest now, and we are at that wonderful stage when ideas flare and spark all over. We arrived with certain notions of how it should be, of course – and now, as we read… It’s as though the voices were shaping those notions, turning them – sometimes on their head – adding colour and texture, and the occasional new limb.

I’ve seen it happen before. It’s magic – glorious magic. Then next week we begin blocking, and all will crumble into mayhem and despondency, and we’ll fight* and call each other names – and, incidentally, I’ll very much regret playing the Chorus.

Then the Glimpse will happen – that golden flash of The Right Way, and from that we’ll build and work like mad. Happy frenzy will follow, and more fights, and the truly bitter crisis, the never-agains, the nearly averted murders, and all the insurmountable obstacles on the way to impending doom, and then… And then.

Been there, done that. Many times, now. And love it enormously, with its highs and lows, and fierceness and disasters and miracles… I daresay I’ll love it a little less when we’re less than a week from first night, under-rehearsed and rabid, and I can’t have a proper tech rehearsal. “I know I always say so – but this time, this time it’s going to be a catastrophe…”

But meanwile, let me soar on the wings of theatrical enthusiasm: all is well – or will be – and there’s little in this world that I love better.


* I fear there will be battle over music: I want percussions, Gemma wants an accordion, I hate accordions heartily…