So the roof didn’t fall in around our heads, but it did feel rather as though the world was ending… In the world of the play, that is.
At half built stage, the stage space always feels quite bizarre. Now there is real furniture where before there was plastic chairs, the world of the play ought to feel more well, real. However. It does in fact do the opposite, the first time you step into that space. Furniture or props aren’t where you expected to be, and whereas a door made of air cooperated with my hand in rehearsal, the real door in the mdf wall seems to have a mind of its own! Not only does it refuse to stay closed, but it can also be seen straight through from rows A-C of the right side stalls – rendering the ‘world’ of the play unstable every time it is opened or closed. Then, when it is closed, it is impenetrable and queues are missed and entrances and exits delayed.
Another crucial change for my part tonight was the addition of a real life mirror. Previously, when I have preened In front of it, it has only been to a wall beyond but tonight I realised for the first time that not only am I going to have myself looking back at me in the mirror (which with my ridiculous hat is going to be distraction enough) but half the audience, too! I will have to do my best to catch nobodies eye – or get hold of the seating plan and make hasty changes to avoid having to look at anyone I know…
Putting on the final costumes is also a strange experience. Suddenly this scratchy fabric in a colour you would never choose (bright yellow!), this tight pair of shoes and this ridiculous hat (I am not a hat person!) define who you are. They should feel natural to you, but at first the sensation is most unnatural! You pace the dressing room, trying to walk a mile in the shoes that are already pinching reciting character monologues to yourself. The oriental silk blouse chosen for Queenie is gorgeous though, I’ll be having that when this is all over!
Full dress rehearsal tomorrow, bring it on!