Yesterday I got into my Reepicheep costume at one p.m. and didn’t get out again till eight. Fortunately, even though it was a lovely day outside, it wasn’t hot in the theatre, so I wasn’t that uncomfortable – though I did pull the hood back off my head whenever there was a chance.
Rather than it being a rehearsal where we aimed for a straight run-through, we stopped at every scene change to make sure all the cast and crew knew what was happening with the scenery and such – and then often practised this again more than once. In several instances we made adjustments to the way things run, for expediency’s sake; it’s just too late to start adding bits to the script to cover scene changes.
It was rather frustrating in terms of keeping up the energy for the acting, but hopefully it’s solved all the problems we’ve had with the ship and the ‘triangles’ (as the large sets are called: they’re triangular-shaped constructions with a different piece of the scenery on each side; and this year they had additional flaps so that fewer of them have to be used. Complex!)
A lot of the cast were in their costumes, so that side of things was beginning to come together as well, and most of the props and additional bits for various scenes (such as the treasure cave) are starting to appear as required. It seems an enormously detailed show, now that we’re right in the thick of things. Obviously the acting side of it is the least complicated! My coracle is now virtually complete; instead of being a skeleton of a boat with troublesome wheel castors that won’t move easily, it’s got a ‘skin’ on it, and flows along with barely any effort on my part. Fortunately I’m not in it for long, as it’s quite wearing on the legs!
I was very tired at the beginning of the rehearsal, for some reason, and it took a long time to feel as though I was thoroughly ‘with it’, but it often seems that I have more energy in the midst of performing than I have when I finally stop. Suddenly I become an old man again! (Okay, 63 may not be super old, but it’s a time when the body’s starting to feel the strain of having been up and running for a good long time.)