There have been and still are a myriad jobs to do. Phone calls to make, agreements to be made, then changed, re-formed, changed again and improved upon. You may say “This doesn’t sound like the theatre- making process.” And it is true, the glamour is missing, the creative ideas are still to be approached.
To the outsider the stage and all that’s on it arrive as if by magic. The work of making the play starts with the writing. But someone has to say the words and someone has to light those people so that we can see them (unless, in the immortal words of Rita in the play about Educating her by Willy Russell we “do it on the radio”.) In which case someone else has to come along with a visual picture of where these people are and when it is and what’s happening. And that same person or another one has to find something for them to wear which, in our case is sometimes up to four costumes per actor.
For me, the last couple of weeks have been a heartwarming experience because I’ve met and spoken to a lot of people who simply want to do this play because it needs doing. Because they like it, because they believe in it, because it matters. After the time it has taken for the work to evolve the right people have arrived and we have a team who are working so hard and none of them are in it for the glamour.
So in a very short time, I will begin to wear my favourite hat of director. I will be seeing the words being used to tell a remarkable and moving story. And I am truly fortunate in having an amazing band of actors to tell it.
Auditions for an actor take many forms and as one who has often been on the that side of the audition panel, it was remarkable to feel a deep sense of triumph when I heard actor after actor say the lines with passion and sincerity as if it truly mattered. Altogether we (my producer, assistant director, movement director and I) saw up to thirty selections for the five roles available and every single one of them was more than capable of delivering the lines and choosing was a hard task.
And having chosen we have bonded as a team and read through the play, taken the rehearsal shots, filmed the rehearsal and all in the space of a few hours. I have always hoped to find the best there is and I can honestly say they have arrived. Leaving their egos safely outside the doorand armed with professional pride, the cast are here.
L-R Joyce (Rachel Harper) Glen Wilson (Isaac Hall) and Thomas Salter (Paul Boichat)
And very soon we start the rehearsal process and I am excited at the prospect more than ever before. It is almost like reverting back to childhood and looking forward to my birthday when I could not imagine the gifts I would receive or the food at the party and could barely wait for it all to happen. The gifts are already here but the cake is yet to come. Enjoy it when you come!