Yesterday (Saturday) the Narnians had their first taste of working on the Dawn Treader itself. The ship is still in a rather primitive state, but at least we could go in and out of the cabin door, climb up onto the poop deck (which took us within inches of the rehearsal room’s ceiling) and feel as though we were getting the sense of our eventual surroundings for when we go on stage.
The poop deck is well above head height, so there’s a ladder of about eight steps to get up to it. We’re told by the builder that it will take 10-15 people without problem (rather like those lifts where they tell you so many kilos or so many people – you always wonder why telling you how many kilos the lift will carry is of any use), but even having a few people up there feels uncomfortably crowded (at least it did to me) and there’s a sense that the railing around the poop isn’t really secure enough to hold anyone in an emergency. It’s going to be strengthened, thank goodness.
And standing on it while it's being moved is a bit too exciting for my fractured nerves, but I guess I'll get used to it!
We’re now just about towards the end of the play, in terms of blocking out scenes, and it’s noticeable that my character, Reepicheep, gets more vocal as time goes on. Of course, the end of the play almost belongs to him (okay, give or take a couple of other important characters), and there’s that thrill of reaching the ‘end of the world’ and the sweet, sweet water that isn’t salty to the taste, and various other aspects that he’s been waiting for all his life.
And today, five of us went out to have publicity shots done, which meant traipsing around by the area in front of the St Clair Salt Water Pool while we got organised, and some people got their costumes on (the guys modestly getting untrousered and trousered in our car). I’d already been dressed since just after church this morning, because I was also made up: a kind of intermediate, experimental make-up, but it looked okay.
We went around to the back beach, beyond the Pool, getting odd looks and comments from various passers-by, and finally had the photos taken right along the end, where the cliffs rise up behind you, and the sea storms away below. It’s a wonderful spot, and the day was blissfully sunny (after what seems like weeks of rain and cold). Erina, our director, said it’s strange how actors tend to be shy in public. None of us, initially, was enthused about walking in public in our costumes, whereas we’d all be much more comfortable on stage. We like to keep our audience at a bit of a distance. On the other, hand, once you get used to the idea of looking daft in public, you just go with it, and none of us was that embarrassed.
Photo courtesy of Brett, from his Picasa album: Flatting in Dunedin