A Relaxing Day


Penny Downie as Penelope in The Penelopiad, Photo Ellie Kurttz


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

So, I’m thinking… well, now that the show is up and running there’s really not that much to report. One of my students from the National Theatre School, Lindsay Clarke, came to the show on Tuesday night. She was at the Ark with Kelly and I last winter, and she was mentored by Kelly. She was delighted with the show, and stayed over, and I convinced her she should stay and see Richard II at The Courtyard to see how Shakespeare is really done.

The two of us went to Shakespeare’s Birthplace during the day. That was great. A little too touristy, I found. I liked the other two houses much better. Much of the central information around Shakespeare’s life I am already familiar with, but the more peripheral stuff, like Hall’s Croft, is completely captivating. Now I have only to see Holy Trinity, and the grave. I’ll find time for that next week.

I had an Alexander session. That was fantastic. I find Alexander Technique not only a gift for the body, but a wonderful way to focus the mind on “not doing”. We “do” so much to our bodies in the current culture of gyms, and fitness classes, and Alexander is a real antidote to that. Excellent practice for the actor. Or, at least, for me.

While I was having a relaxing day, continuing to heal groin and toe, and fighting this damned cold, the others were busily finishing understudy blocking rehearsals. Poor Jenny was pretty pooped by the end of the day.

Jenny Young and the Company in The Penelopiad, Photo Ellie Kurttz

The show was good, a little wonky perhaps, but we’re solid in what we have now.

Djanet Sears called to say she was behind in her packing and would not see us before she left. What a power she has been. What a force in our process. A quiet, focussed thrum, that sustained and reinforced our discoveries. This is a woman of soul. A well that draws you in, and quenches you. Thank you Djanet for your amazing contribution to our work.

Djanet Sears


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