One of those nights in the theatre


Monday, October 1, 2007

October. Amazing.

Pauline, Jade, Sarah, and Moj had an fantastic time in Montreal. They just loved it. Loved the shopping, loved the culture, and Pauline and Jade certainly loved the men! Andy, the percussionist, and Mike, both went to Toronto, and also had a great time. It’s such a treat to have people from abroad discover your country. Somehow it makes my own love of this multi-faceted land more credible. Such a Canadian thing, to need reassurance from the outsider. Ah well. I hope it makes us charming.

We had one of those nights in the theatre. The nights that keep you on your toes! It started off at the end of the first group scene, when Corrine left stepped forward as Icarius to say her final line, and left a long piece of toilet paper in her wake. The rest of us are standing upstage in a “vase-painting” line, and our eyes bugged out of our heads. I nearly howled. God love Jenny, because on the exit line she meandered downstage and picked up the offending tissue. I was in hysterics backstage. There is nothing so funny to me as a trail of toilet paper on the stage. This is an insight into my true nature.

Little did we know that was just the beginning. Pippa has picked up another stomach bug, and after her first scene as the Naiad Mother she started throwing up into buckets in the wings. So she wasn’t on for the next couple of scenes, and there was a lot of running around backstage, as she was trying to decide what she could do, and what she simply could not do. Corrine then threw up in sympathy. And poor Penny, who basically never leaves the stage, has to keep going through it all, with Pippa in some scenes, and not in others, and not knowing who Pippa’s lines might be coming from. At one point, as we were singing, Corrine came over to me, and under her breath asked who was going to take Pippa’s line in the coming scene, and I under my breath whispered back, “Jade”… and all this behind smiles and intention, so the audience was completely oblivious to all of it. Kind of a riot.

And then…

Okay. What is it with me and my bleeding toe?! Yes. Ladies and gentlemen. I slashed my toe up again. Same toe. Different place. But once again, at a point in the show that is impossible for me to get bandaged. So I was leaving tracks of blood behind me onstage, and the hem of my costume is spotted with proof of my sacrifice. And it’s very hard not to think of the mess you’re making, and that you may be distracting people with your bright red foot. But the great thing is… nobody notices. It just makes my limping even more focussed and effective!

This whole show was a testament to technique and camaraderie. The story was told seamlessly regardless of all the other goings on. And I know that for a fact, for wouldn’t you know that there were a whole bunch of actors who had come up from Stratford, Ontario to see the show on their day off, and also a number of actors, including Lucy Peacock and Diane D’Aquila, who are in The Ark here at the NAC, and my dear friend Sherry Bie, the Principal of the English Section of the National Theatre School. They had no idea what was going on, and were genuinely thrilled with the production. You gotta love that! The show must go on.

And not to negate Pippa’s suffering. She was sick five times during the show! What a trooper. And then after she finished the second Naiad Mother scene, she went home to bed. God, Pip. I hope you feel better tomorrow.


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