The magic of theatre

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A brutally long day today. We start at 9:30am. Pauline has been ill all night and is the colour of concrete. Pippa is also not well. Moj has bounced back and is in good form after a solid night’s sleep.

On we go. It is a relentless and tedious process, re-cueing a show.  The frustrating part is, we need music rehearsals, and if it was just lighting that needed adjustment, we could be working with Mike on music. But Mike is busy at every second because it is his work that is most effected. (Oh poor Mike! On top of everything, his keyboard re-configured itself on the flight, and his entire programming of the show was lost. This has meant painstakingly reprogramming for hours outside of rehearsals. So a big hats off to Mike!)  We get to the end of the play a few minutes before our scheduled meal break. Whew! Pippa has had to leave the rehearsal about halfway through the afternoon, and we worked around her. Hopefully she will rest up, and be alright for tonight.

Peter Hinton, the resident god of the theatre, has been with us through these two days of rehearsal. Rae has certainly been running the ship, but Peter has been there for guidance and support in the absence of Josette. (I forgot to tell you. Josette is rehearsing another play in Sweden, and although she had hoped the play would be in good enough shape to leave for a few days, it simply isn’t, and she has had to leave us in Rae’s capable hands.) Peter gives a little speech to the audience before we begin our preview. The production tables are still in the house, which gives the audience a good idea that things are not completely set and ready. But Peter tells them about the massive adjustments and that we haven’t had a run through yet in this space.

The house lights snap black. We set forth. And we stay afloat. Oh, there are a few glitches as one can only expect. The brains fart when faced with walls and doors in new places! It’s as simple as that. But we tell our story. And the crew is fantastic. Some difficulties with costumes as we knew there would be. It’s not easy in our regular circumstances, let alone with one less dresser. But we make it. And everyone gets on stage wearing some form of the right outfit.

We tell our story! Isn’t that great. And the audience gets it! There are some different responses that with our English audiences, which is a wonderful little cultural reminder. But they follow both Penelope and the Maids, and at the end… god bless them… they get to their feet. If you’ll recall our first preview at the Swan (July 27th!) they did the same thing, even through the melee that was our tech. God bless those first night troopers. The magic of the theatre.

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One Response to “The magic of theatre”

  1. Karen Livesey Says:

    Hello Kate

    I was one of the dozens of teachers in the audience at Thursday’s preivew show at the NAC. I drove two hours after work and then two hours home after the show (I live between Ottawa and Algonquin Park), yet I am still energized from The Penelopiad at the end of a week in the classroom.

    Congratulations to a superb cast and crew–the performance was outstanding, and showed no sign of the problems you mention in your blog. An absolutely stunning production.

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