It is not often that the lone female will respond to the cat calls that come from the other side of the road in a positive manner. The young man in question looked really rather surprised as I stopped in my tracks and hot footed it over in his direction!
No, I had not been seduced by the ancient courting ritual of ‘shouting boorishly at strangers in the street’, but such was my desperation last Tuesday, that I found myself whipping my script out of my bag and demanding the chap drop his drill and read my lines to me. Yes, I spent last week agonising over what, I have now decided, is the hardest accent in the world. The Geordie in question was more than happy to oblige me with a brief lesson, but luckily for me, a kindly director has since put me out of my misery and has allowed my ‘randy student’ to relocate from Strother to Cambridge (maybe it wasn’t kindness, maybe it was the fear of riling up the north eastern contingent of our audience…) So for now I shall postpone ordering the box set of ‘Extreme Fishing with Robson Green’, and allow myself to enjoy Ant and Dec without analysing their vowel sounds.
There is, in reality, very little time to enjoy much of anything except rehearsing at every given opportunity at the moment. For there are three little words that have scared me so much I hesitate to put them to paper. Deep breath… We. Open. Tomorrow.
As with every single show I’ve ever been involved in, I want more time. There never seems to be enough, and the time you do have disappears faster than a packet of chocolate digestives in a green room. We have press night on Wednesday and there is more character work I can do, more experimenting to be had, more levels to develop… just, you know, MORE. However, the truth of the matter is that this is one show that needs an audience.
We can do as much prep as we like, but just to make our lives a little bit easier Tacit are turning the space into a fully functioning tavern. The Tabard Inn will be fully stocked with parsnip wine, ye olde folk music and hopefully an audience that will embrace the spirit of the thing. The concept is an immersive experience for the audience (as in, you can immerse yourself in ale and mulled wine) and Director Daplyn is encouraging us to promote an atmosphere in which audience members will feel able to get up ‘mid-tale’ and take themselves off to the privy or what have you. The long and short of it is, if an audience member decides to plonk themselves down where the Reeve had intended to do his chicken feathering then, well… we’ll just have to do it somewhere else. Or come up with some inventive and Chaucer-like way of budging said audience member. Probably with a big stick.
Though we have just about acclimatised to the space, the show is going to be so dependent on the numbers in the audience, their reactions and how we deal with them. And that’s going to be something we’ll just have to get used to as we go along. I am particularly looking forward to shooing my ‘I like the actors to stay on the stage and maybe sing a ballad’ mother out of the way to make space for a bit of medieval hanky-panky. Which is like modern hanky-panky but with hessian duvets. Good times.