Hello Ladies & Gents,
It is your favourite con man here – well favourite may be a stretch . . . With myself, Tim and Jack – picking your favourite is like picking between which chore you prefer doing as a kid (Washing up for the record).
Anyway – it’s our last week in Eastbourne and my word has there been some comedy going on! Firstly, to the serious stuff, unless you were living under a rock, you may have been aware there was a rather large boxing match between Connor McGregor & Floyd Mayweather. Well, the cast of Wait Until Dark consists of a few fight fans particularly our brilliant and quaint actor playing Gloria, our moody but cool little girl in Wait Until Dark . . . Shannon!! That’s right, we have our own Atomweight to join this Heavyweight in being mad about all things combat sports! So, Shannon, marketing supremo Emma, Artistic Director Alastair and myself decided to stay up to watch the fight! Well Alastair bailed out on us (“it’s too late Gra’am, Cuckoo is a tired bird”) whilst Emma and Shannon needed a prefight nap (to defend them – it didn’t start till about 5am) but they did wake up and come over, so the three of us stayed up with a healthy picnic of fruity cider, sweets and pizza (that was just me whilst they other two slept) – it was a brilliant night!
The following day . . . I got poisoned! No, seriously! As you may have seen in the mainstream news, a mystery cloud floated its way over Eastbourne that led to people being taken to hospital vomiting and unable to see! Luckily that didn’t happen to any of our cast, however I unfortunately had a few minutes of being unable to see and having very leaky eyes. Who knew? When Alastair contacted us to tell us to be careful, it all made sense. Can you believe it? Shame it wasn’t earlier in the week when the show was on as I would’ve claimed the crying eyes was due to my acting (before you say it - in a good way, not in a ‘make him stop’ way!).
Anyway, the show is what you’re interested in and what I am asked to blog about so here goes – second week in Eastbourne has been very good. As a new cast, finding that collective approach and becoming that ‘ensemble’ so to speak can always be tricky, finding the grooves of each other as actors and then applying that more so to the text – so finding more from Knotts words and allowing that journey and development to continue and work in tandem. Apologies for how arty I sounded there (I can hear my brother laughing at me for saying that), however I say this because too often plays will ‘open’ and actors will stop exploring as they think their job is done. It is a common and highly contagious disease called ‘boneidleactor-itus’ and I am glad to say that this disease hasn’t spread to this cast and our director, Alastair has been on hand most of the week to railroad us to make sure that does not and will not happen. We are really finding a nice rhythm and strength to the show, characters are becoming clearer, the text snappier and sharper and all of this creates a really strong world in the apartment flat that is the home for Wait Until Dark. I think the world transfers well and it appears the audience at Eastbourne have shared it with us. Our first batch of reviews came out this week and they nailed what we were looking to achieve and they have all been very nice and positive *blushes* however we are all aware we need to keep going, keep building and keep developing and hopefully our official press night in Richmond next week leads to the same results.
Special mention must be made to the ‘Friends’ here at Eastbourne. A group that introduce week long show (or more) with a lovely evening of drinks, speeches and an opportunity to sit around and chat with people who know a lot about theatre. It’s very nice and refreshing that such a group have such a strong presence as it’s not overly common in my experience. They also have a tradition where you stand on the steps in the bar as a cast and get a big old group photo then put up on their notice board, so we did the honours and you can see that picture below.
Anyway – with only a few shows left in Eastbourne, we then pack our backs and the weekly tour begins starting in Richmond and then off to Cheltenham & Cambridge. It’s nice to be performing within the M25 as that makes a difference for a production such as ours from a review/indstury professional perspective, however more brilliant is that it means lots of friends of the cast and of Original Theatre Company can come along and get scared, so scared that they buy me a drink in the bar (I am looking at you, Harper!).
Take Care all and I will see you in Richmond, love your third favourite con man.