Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Off to work in Newcastle. What friendly people they are here! Everyone is helpful and cheerful. And, okay, I have to say it, the accent is FANTASTIC! It’s just a great town.
The dress rehearsal in the afternoon went relatively smoothly. There were a few little glitches, and we did have to stop once near the beginning, but after that we sailed on without a hitch. The crew is fantastic: young, (did I say friendly?) and extremely capable and that is key when you’re stepping in for only four shows.
There are small things that are different here: the down-stage entrances are farther away, and they have two sets of steps, off the stage and out of the house, so timing entrances and exits from the “voms” takes a bit of getting used to. Some of the flying elements are different simply because they have different access to space on the grid, so that has meant a little bit of re-spacing.
But the great thing about Northern Stage is the wings. I know I’m going on about the WINGS! It’s amazing what a difference it makes to the show. Since everyone is in the backstage area all the time, crew and all, and we must all be extremely quiet, the show gets focussed very tightly. What a treat. The Swan just didn’t hold that possibility.
The opening went really well. The audience seemed to really enjoy it.
A young woman that Corrine and I met on Hadrian’s Wall came for the opening, and found it so funny to see us on stage after seeing us out walking in the countryside. We had a little reception in the theatre bar afterwards. A chance to talk to two of the Friends of the RSC, Yvonne and David Richardson. They are really great people and wonderful supporters of the theatre. It is so great to meet people like this in other countries. It just shows you how people who are excited to be involved in the theatre exist all over the world.
It seems as if things are wrapping up so quickly here. There just doesn’t seem time to do any sight-seeing here in Newcastle, which is a little disappointing. But the practicalities are looming: getting our money home, not to mention trying to pack too many things into too little space. Both Jenny and Corrine have already bought new suitcases. And Marks and Spencers… what are we going to do without Marks and Spencers? Can we convince them to re-open shops in Canada? Perhaps a letter writing campaign is in order.
Anyway. The countdown is on. And the struggle of these feelings which seem in such contrast to each other: the sadness of leaving behind this country which has been such a thrill over the past few months, and the longing to return to my own bed, my cat, my friends and family. Hard to hold both these feelings in hand. And in heart.