Sunday 22 July 2012

Ostrava round up, the fear, costume woes, keeping it real and a theft

Unfortunately the blog suffered from an increase in workload and a decrease in time available. However as I wrote this I am on my way to Poland to do part 2. Part 2 is essentially the same play with a brand new community cast.

Anyway here's a brief summary of what happened in Ostrava.

5th July
The fear has set in. This is the point where you realise how much time you don't have left to finish learning lines. The fear can be crippling and debilitating. It can rob the actor of confidence and paralyse them, thus preventing them solving their own problem. I don't know what the answer to the fear is but my wife told me to remind myself that I'm a genius that can do anything. Wether it's true or not, isn't relevant but if it helps me past this rut then all is good.

6th July
I've started to cry in my performance now.

There is a scene in which the king learns that his son, his wife and probably his daughter are all dead. It becomes too much and I break down crying. I love being able to cry on stage and I am often asked how to do this. I'm going to save this subject for another blog though, so stay tuned.

7th July
It's preview night tonight and there will be a small audience including some press. Nerves are running high and I realise that for the first time in a long time, I'm really nervous, not a little nervous but a lot. I don't know why.
The preview wasn't bad but there is definitely some more line work to be done. I am also unhappy about my costume. Partly because of my own insecurities regarding my self image and partly because I don't think it really works for a king.

8th July

Had a discussion with Philip and Lucy (costume lady) about my costume, we watched a compromise which I absolutely love. This is also a reminder of how much every production is a collaboration which when handled right can yield beautiful results.

First show, first time with a big audience and a successful one. I say successful but although good it has highlighted a lot of work which we all need to do before tomorrow.



9th July

Tonight was a good performance although I personally feel that I found it a little difficult to focus. This however is fairly typical for 2nd nights. Probably because the buzz and elation of the first nights still lingering and one is never sure how to replicate it - and therein lies the problem. Never try to replicate a performance each one is different, each one has a unique audience that will respond differently and therefore inform your performance uniquely. Every night you are in a different mind space than you were the night before and so are your fellow actors. As every day is varied so is every performance. Acknowledging this is how you keep a performance fresh and interesting. Never try to do anything else but take each show as it comes.

10th July
A truly triumphant final performance in which everyone gave it everything they got. This is a wonderful note to leave the Czech Republic on. We have An after party in a bar called Sherlocks and this becomes a bitter sweet time. Many friends have been made here and the flavour of this country is one I have enjoyed and intend to return to. There is much drinking, dancing, laughing and crying. However at the end of the night I notice that my bag has gone missing, complete with iPad, a red bikini!!! And my passport.

11th July

Crime report filed.
20m to catch the train to Prague
We dash home
I pack in 5m
I run for the train while Philip grabs me a coffee.
Phillip hands me the coffee as the train moves off.
4 hours later I am navigating Prague in order to find the British consul.
2 and a half hours later with the aid of the lovely Mari┼íka I have passport pictures, a new boarding card and a very pretty emergency passport, valid for one trip that has cost me £96. Considering that a 10 year passport will cost £110 I am bit miffed.
Anyway a 3 hour trip to Brno and I arrive half an hour before the rest of the party and we travel back to England together.

All in all this has been an amazing production woth abtragi first half, a cmic interlude and a happy ending. The audience were fed in the middle and danced both at the begin as they took part in Queen Hermiones masked ball and later at the festival in Bohemia. The audience stayed with us theough a 4 hour promenade spectacle and loved every minute. This was a triumph of theatre and There are pictures and videos all over Facebook at the moment and in the fullness of time I will post some of the choice ones. But here's one of the rehearsals for you.



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