The highlight of the week for me was opening night. The energy was fantastic, we bounded through the scenes and I couldn’t wait to leap back on the stage. Costume changes were chaotic – most of my scenes ended in a dash to the dressing room to change into the next outfit. Everyone was extremely focused and mistakes were improvised over so well that the scenes were even better than before.
I loved cooking and sharing dinner each night. There’s nothing like sharing a steaming pot of soup on a rainy evening! The late finishing times were exhausting, so it was good to have the mornings off to sleep in and do little jobs. Dress rehearsals were fun, and great for really getting into character. I found that I embodied the part of a hobbit so completely that not only was I munching on apples on stage but I found myself snacking on crackers and nuts with the other hobbits when we were all together backstage.
Last week, doing The Ring Bearer, there were many great moments. The best one being that we actually managed to pull the whole thing off after only two weeks of rehearsal. I’m very proud of everyone’s ability to learn their lines in such a short time, also the costumes being done so fast and well. Raphaela and Kia were great at organising us, and directed a beautiful performance.
The thing I love about performing is that occasional moment when you happen to catch another actor’s eye, and in that eye you see the same same terror that you know must be in your own. And yet the audience sees nothing but the character.
I never felt confident of a reliable, safe way to make jumping off a milk crate look like falling to my death. The only method I developed involved jumping off balance, remaining off balance and spiralling out of control; wondering whether I would be caught, fall, bang into the wall or trip over something.
In all honesty, not being particularly partial to acting, I wasn’t anticipating having a greatly enjoyable time working till 10pm every night. However, the atmosphere was all round a very good one and not only did the whole experience end up being one that was over all enjoyable, but I started to, dare I say it, actually have a fair deal of fun while acting!
The most enjoyable part of performing the Ring Bearer was singing a beautiful duet with the very talented Evan Squire.
I was delighted to be part of the music. It was a pity that I couldn’t see the play as an audience. Will I felt very privileged to bear the ‘ring of rings’ as Frodo, and to have the opportunity and the challenge of becoming his character in a new world surrounded by other great characters and accompanied by beautiful music. I enjoyed working with everyone, especially Gawain, imagining and living into that world.
Some of my favourite things about last week, were performing and the full dress rehearsal because it wasn’t so tiring. I thought Will and Gawain were very good hobbits. Terry said her lines loudly and clearly and her voice sounded like a very wise wizard Gandalf. Ellen’s waddling gait looked very hobbit-like. Katrina played the Messenger of Mordor and she looked very evil. She was also a great and very evil orc. The communal dinners every day of the week were lovely.