Dress rehearsal

Carol dress rehearsal tonight. It’s a very different space. I’m surrounded. Previous shows have given me a powerful spot, where I can exist and dominate the whole room. This time I’ve always got someone behind me. I feel a little sick having inhaled tons of fake snow. I also feel exhilarated to know that we are close to opening and as ever it’s a lovely show.  It’s really joyful. I always forget until I remember. Christmassy Christmas. Oh joys and wonders.

Apparently the fake snow isn’t toxic. I went and looked at the packet as I reckon I’ll be accidentally eating a few tonnes of the stuff before January. We ran the show for a small invited audience, in order to test the structure in this new room. It’s good, of course, and Jack and I have room to enjoy ourselves and tell the story. I was slightly hampered by the fact I was wearing no contact lenses, and it’s very dark in there. I couldn’t see a fucking thing. I think I was mostly talking to Jack, although I stepped on a hat and probably delivered a few lines to a bit of furniture thinking it was a person.

Now I’m home and about to put a chicken in the oven. I haven’t eaten all day and I barely ate yesterday. Kitkat might come home and help eat, but even if she doesn’t I reckon I can singlehandedly polish off that chicken. I’m damned if I’m not going to try. We had a couple of pints after the showing, and I need to teach my body that there are other ways of gathering nutrients than just the bottom of a glass. I might open a bottle of something. But I won’t be awake past ten. Too much on.

Tomorrow it’s Twelfth Night again. I feel schizophrenic. I know that Toby is still in my head somewhere, but I’m cluttered. The good thing is that I got back in time to reset the jetlag. Some of the others will still be confused. Contractually we have to arrive back at least three days before the London shows, and based on my experience last week that makes perfect sense. I’ve never had such lag, but that’s the longest I’ve ever spent in America since I was a wee bairn.

I’m home again, sitting waiting for the oven to warm up. I’ve had a good day and seen some dear friends. I still can’t switch on the telly as I keep forgetting to buy an hdmi cable, but the walls aren’t closing in this time. I’m feeling good. Christmas Carol does that. It’s about meeting lots and lots of random individuals and mining into what makes them happy. It’s the strangest acting job, but one of the most beautiful. I will continue to love this show.


I walked home through Christmas London. I saw beautiful happy looking buildings filled with people whose body language and spirit were totally shut. Open doors in pools of light revealing closed down dark human beings. Everybody left our showing open. That’s the magic of Carol. Bring it on.



Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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