And so the rehearsals begin…
…and I must say it was a great little session on Wednesday despite the rather cool temperature in the back room of the church hall. It’s great to be reminded of the reasons why we do this, after the lengthy festive hiatus, and ’twas a lot of fun working with Annie. K, Dot, the returning Bethany Reeve and newcomer Lucy Montague, putting the groundwork into some of the early scenes. After working on ‘Books’ and ‘Shkspear’, which demanded a slightly modified approach to direction, it was quite nice to get into some early character work and lay the foundations in fleshing out some of this gallery of grotesque characters. I am not going to speak at all too soon but we were back and it was good.
And with going back in mind it’s time to have another dabble in the archive, on this occasion reaching in to 2006 and David Hare’s ‘Racing Demon’. This was something of a departure from many of the plays that had been going on with The Matchbox at that time being a thought provoking, politically charged exploration of matters ecclesiastical. Directed by Tim, I remember vividly the abstract scaffolding on the main stage and the more naturalistic setting on floor level as John, Mike, Alan and myself donned our various cassocks and vicarly mantle to portray a broad variety of characters and issues. As well as Lewis, John, Terry Gauntlet and Tim himself in support, I well remember Dot as a haunted wife wandering Lady Macbeth like about the stage, Gill in a particularly obscene shade of pink towelling and Zoe boldly baring all, although with ultimate decorum beneath covers. Although not a play that has occupied the ‘memorable’ section of my mind, my reflections of it looking at the pictures above has rekindled a something of a respectable enthusiasm for our good works nearly eight years ago. It has, in fact, reminded me what an engaging and provocative play it actually was, the very thing that I enjoy and that we do so well. Although quite an understated piece and I do have a soft spot for it and my role of Donald ‘Streaky’ Bacon, a part slightly removed from the Brian Blessed School of Theatre.
But, look at the time. It’s now the weekend, so I will leave you to whatever entertainments you have in store and be back next week with fresh news from ‘The Government Inspector’ and a dip a little further back even than our flirt with the angels and demons of the clergy. Until then, all the very best and stay well,