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Lights up!

June 6, 2022

A very theatrical day yesterday.

In addition to returning this week as Thomas Brend in my play, A Divine Comedy, Joe was approached about appearing in another play in the arts council’s theatre festival early next month. It’s a full-length play, Grow Up Grandad, in which his character appears in pretty much every scene. So a shitload of memorisation.

The play has been adapted, so the setting is in BC, not the North of England, sparing the three actors having to attempt (and probably fail at) a Northern accent.

With the two performances so close together, he’s been rehearsing both plays for a couple of weeks now. (After this weekend he can at least only focus on one.) I told him a while ago that I’d be happy to run lines with him if he thought it would help. He agreed that it would, so I went round to his yesterday afternoon and we went through Act One twice. (He’s supposed to be off book on this act this week.) 

In between I got to spend time on the deck throwing balls for Georgie in the garden, which is always fun and made up a bit for missing my walk with her on Friday. 

After the second go on Act One, I retired to the garden for more fun with Georgie, whilst Joe made some of his fabulous ravioli for dinner.

After dinner it was time to get back to A Divine Comedy and the tech rehearsal at the venue. First time with the blacks up, first time with the stage lights. First time I realised that, with my back to the lights, it’s almost impossible to see the yellow highlighting on my script. (I read the scene intros and the stage directions during the play-within-a-play.) So, off to the village today to buy a different coloured highlighter.

Even under their masks I can see some of the wonderful expressions on the faces of the actors as they react to one another. Tomorrow night at the dress rehearsal I will get to see their full faces for the first time and I am so looking forward to that.

Of course I’m biased. When the first play I wrote for the company, That’s Nice, was staged as part of the one-act festival in 2015, I thought it was the best of the three. (Helps that a number of people told me the same thing.) When An Unhelpful Complication was staged a couple of years later, I’m not saying I thought it was hands down the best, but I thought it was pretty damn good. (The script going on to be a finalist in a national playwriting competition helped.) One of the other plays we’re doing this weekend is quite sweet, another is really quite funny, but I’m glad we’re going last, because, if I do say so myself (and I do), I think A Divine Comedy is going to be a huge hit. (Might even enter it in next year’s national competition.) I will get a lot of the credit for the (tongue in cheek) brilliant writing, but the play will be a huge success because the actors have thrown all they have into it and they are fabulous. 

From the end of the play…

And they are.

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