Theatre and telly

A flying visit to Stratford is pending, and I’ve been trying to juggle all the odd requirements of the TV company. They own me for a week from Saturday, although it’ll only be one day of filming within the week. This to me is a reasonably new way of booking actors in small parts and it’s kinda nice as it means we get the weekly rate for one day of work. I’ll have to jump when they say jump. But unless something goes tits up, the location will have been booked for just one evening and we will have to show up and do it. Barring Covid, I can’t see it being cancelled. And with all the testing going on, nobody is gonna have Covid. I have to go to a test AGAIN tomorrow morning though, and I’m not under contract yet. I had to do two before I was even in wardrobe, but they showed up on my doorstep. Because I’m off to Stratford tomorrow morning Lou and I have both had to juggle, and rather than me going to Brighton this evening, she’s up on the train tomorrow morning to meet me in London post test. I’m up super early in order to go and let someone shove things up my nose again. I’ll have to drive to Bishopgate in the Congestion Charge area for the privilege. It’s a total ballache.

Worth it though for a week of work in a day. Worth it for the lovely team, for the lovely work, and for the feeling I got coming off set yesterday. Film sets were my first experience of professional acting. It’s lovely and familiar every time.

Gotta love the bootstrap theatre as well though. This afternoon a load of us went to Nadia’s flat and talked to each other in heightened language for a few hours. This is The Factory again. Some old faces, some newer. Twelfth Night at The Willow Globe and a brief opportunity to remember that geeky joy and fellowship. It’s forever delightful to revisit that company, and the rigour. There’s a shared language still where we can challenge and bust one another, even if the initial monastic doctrine has faded over time with changes: the absence of our patron saint, the robust career of one of our founders, the incomprehensible sacking of the other and the recent death of the New York heart, dear Louis.

Still, we muddle on. Today we couldn’t remember it all but we tried. Who knows how it’s all going to fall out in Wales but we’ve done obscure canon plays with cuescript before having never been in the room. Having the chance to be in the room together beforehand – that’s something of a luxury and lovely to see the team.

The joy with The Willow Globe is that we are known by their audience. They come for the anarchy. It’s our annual opportunity to hang out and be sexy and make Shakespeare. I love it there. I’m so happy to be going back.

After rehearsal, I went and lit a candle for my friend’s sick cat. As my mum would say, “beam on positive thinking”. He’s having an operation tomorrow…

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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