Well, it was universally agreed that the opening night of our ‘Brush Up Your Shakespeare’ was a success with many satisfied customers. The mixture of food, drink, chit chat, history, comedy and tragedy certainly hit the right note. Amongst many whispered observations the words ‘Excellent’; ‘Very funny’; ‘A brilliant night’; ‘That was one of the best things they’ve ever done,’ and ‘Hasn’t he got lovely legs!’ were picked up by my shell likes. You can judge all these things for yourselves if you are coming this evening or tomorrow, including the legs – the owner of which I leave you to identify! And if not, there are still a handful of tickets available for tomorrow and one has become available tonight so don’t miss out.
It seemed apt as, afterwards, in the drab comfort of Savill Towers, I was reflecting on the evening’s performance and I discovered the following wee article based on the Monty Python reunion gigs currently playing at the moment and the moment when it all goes out of your head:
As a fan of the troupe, as anyone who has seen any of the Matchbox Sized Shakespeare Company ™ works can testify, it proved an interesting read. But also as an actor who, every night before performance, frets about that terrible moment when the mind goes blank and just how one is going to get through a night of remembering so many words, it provided another layer of interest.
I took a prompt last week as a medieval king of England. It was my first for fourteen years, the last being in ‘Travels with my Aunt’ whilst drawing out my interrogative Colonel Hakeem. I was devastated as I reeled across stage and tried to regain my composure but eventually got back on with the job. Damn the fellow in the front row reading his programme as I came on! But really, was it a bad thing? The play carried on and no one even noticed. In fact it turned out to be one of the better nights.
Moving through my forties now with the brain cells beginning to wink out like stars at the end of time I suspect there will be a few more prompts in the offing before I hang up my hose. It is a slight worry but at the end of the day, there is no thrill like being out there and delivering the lines when it is going right and no horror like being mid scene and forgetting what comes next. It takes a special sort to get up there and do it that’s for sure.
Until next time