“Do you open tonight? Merde!”
This from a dear friend who has produced earlier runs of this show, and yes… in the past we have opened on the first Thursday… This time though we have the luxury of a little more time. We can dig into moments more. But now we are also starting to organise seating, and inevitably my brain is going towards sightlines. I’ve got this big impressive looking chair, but if I sit in it I massively lose status as I become invisible to a portion of the audience. It’s not my job as an actor to even think about such things, but Jack and I have a certain degree of creative ownership on this now, and a strong understanding of how easy it is to break the tender moments if one of us is invisible. The bombast can survive the apocalypse. But there’s tenderness in this piece, and I’m worried about some moments in terms of sightlines. Let’s see though. We have more time than we’ve ever had to find this fresh. The audience finishes the company. Every space we have ever done this in has given us unexpected presents and unexpected problems. The show is robust, and I’ve remembered quite how robust the partnership is between Jack and I. We get on. We squabble. We finish each other’s sentences. We know each other very well both on and off stage. I sometimes forget how powerful a partnership it is with us now though. There’s trust there. And we won’t let each other fall in a hole. And we care about making this a good show.
Right now though, this week, building the show again has been so all consuming that it’s hard to write a blog that isn’t just me thinking about work. I am usually just full of the day’s nuance at the end of the day. Today my head is on sightlines, yesterday my head was on dialogue, tomorrow who knows?
We still haven’t had much chance to explore the island. We cut up through the middle every morning, and back down in the evening. We sleep near the udders. We work on its back.
The whole journey takes about 15 minutes and you don’t get much in the way of scenery. We arrive at the inn, we work until it’s dark, and then we go home, maybe via a shop. All the bits we experience are the crowded parts. This island can feel extremely crowded. This island IS extremely crowded. I was fortunate to live with a big garden when I was here. Space is at a premium. I had no idea how lucky I was. But I’m looking forward to being able to finally show Jack why I love this place enough to be considering moving back. It’s not ALL about rich people and stone walls. And this year has really helped me see that. First the residency, and now the extended Christmas Carol family for this year. I’m looking forward to seeing what the audience is like here. That’ll be the clincher…
It’s gonna be glorious I’m sure. But thank God we don’t open until Tuesday. I am enjoying the chance to really explode some of the moments we haven’t had time to explore in the past.