Alice again tonight – on the very, very large outside stage, where we never did it before… Continue reading
So… the day after tomorrow we go onstage.
The School Play, I mean. In theory, we should be doing last-minute tweaks, fine-tuning… In theory all should be well and as good as ready. In theory it should be time of a tech rehearsal, dress rehearsal, and then curtain-up…
Except, well – you know… theatre. Continue reading
Here we go: the School Play – now officially titled Faults of the Fathers, will go onstage in a couple of weeks, and we are hard at work on it. Yesterday afternoon, as I arrived at the Tiny Theatre for rehearsals, I met a friend and colleague at the door.
“How’s it going?” he asked – and I said it’s going the right kind of dreadfully for two-weeks-from-curtain-up, which is frightening to the students but quite typical, and quite true.
And last night’s rehearsals were a perfect illustration of what I mean. Let’s see… Continue reading
Nina’s people – and, lo and behold! I’ve been allowed to follow the rehearsals. Nina is the sort of director who doesn’t want authors around until opening night, but it seems that I’ve broken that wall, with the result that, for the last week, I’ve practically lived in the first row, taking notes rehearsal after rehearsal, and discussing things afterwards… Continue reading
Last night we had our first rehearsal with the musicians.
In the end we’re going to have a contrabass and two timpani, and last night we had the two musicians in with their instruments, mostly to get a feel of what’s to be done.
One of the two had read the play, and we had exchanged a few ideas already, while the other just plunged in. Gemma and I made a few requests, but we all agreed to keep things as fluid as possible yet.
“Go on,” they said. “Rehearse. We’ll try things on for size.” Continue reading
So, there is this other playwright. She and her husband hate my guts. I mean, he pretends not to see me when we happen to meet, she doesn’t return greetings – plus, they say unkind things about my plays.
This kind of things.
Being a civilized adult, I once stepped in to play two smallish roles in this lady’s play when the company that stages us both happened to be one woman short the day before first night. I did it for the company, not for the author, but still. And I have done lights for it, too. A number of times. Continue reading
You may, or may not, have wondered how it ended with the Centipede…
I’haven’t murdered him – but it was a close thing. I know I ended the other post on a hopeful note, saying that we’d stopped hating each other, that things were beginning to work, that perhaps, perhaps…
Things seemed to be getting better for a while, and the Director was rather happy with me, and we all felt a little relieved. And perhaps the mistake was in letting the Centipede know, because I can only imagine that, once we stopped scowling at the very mention of the boy’s name, he must have thought he’d done enough. So the brainless creature started missing rehearsals and training sessions – when it was too late to replace him.
He even appeared unforgivably late for dress rehearsal, and then disappeared again before we could start his final drilling – because he had another engagement. He even had the gall to tell the Director that hey, it was just seven lines, for crying out loud…
Which is when we should have sent him to Jericho, shared out his lines, and good riddance. But we didn’t – and paid for it. In the end, he missed two cues out of seven (bless the quick-thinking souls who filled in), messed up his own and everyone else’s blocking like mad, stepped into a dance sequence he didn’t belong to and butchered it…
I was manning the lights board during all that – and pittikins, it was a blood-curdling experience just to watch. I can’t imagine what it must have been onstage and backstage. Or rather, I can – because I heard it all at the after-show dinner. The Centipede wasn’t there – or anywhere around us, since, which goes to show he is possessed of some survival instinct, if nothing else.
I’ve come across him twice in town, after the debacle, and found him very careful in avoiding me…
What’s the bottom line of this story? Very likely that there is only so much you can expect even from the magic of theatre. Miracles don’t happen – unless everyone involved works very hard to make them happen. And it was clearly not the case with this Centipede.
I don’t know what the Centipede’s theatrical future will be – either with “my” company or elsewhere. As far as I’m concerned, he can stay in the ditch and flail all he likes: it’s nice not to have committed a murder, after all, but I am most certainly never wasting another minute or drop of energy on him.