Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Croydon Bound

I'm on the train on the way to Croydon for five performances of Tell Me About Your Ex at The Spead Eagle theatre. We finished our run in Birmingham on Saturday with a matinee and evening performance. The show has been going really well, our intentions to mix humour with some pathos seem to be working out ok and we've had some very nice feedback. We were fairly happy with the shape of the show for the first performance on Tuesday night but as the week went on some changes were made to the opening sequence and final scene which everyone felt more comfortable with. 

There has been the usual small mistakes and mini disasters that make live performance so interesting. Highlights include me mistakingly believing the next scene was one I share with Richard and standing up with purpose as he began a monologue and having to take some stylish backward steps to retake my seat and my decorum. Not many people noticed, so naturally I made a point of telling everyone about it afterwards. During the Saturday matinee I substituted the word "girlfriend" for "sister" when explaining who a former lover was now living and had adopted a son with, thereby making an already poignant story about repressed sexuality one that touched on incest. 

On Thursday Nadi was feeling unwell but gamely carried on as usual. A good thing about being in a small team like this is knowing that the others will pick up any slack if one of the company is having difficulties. With this in mind I was keeping an eye on her as the show started and Richard began a long speech by coughing violently. For a moment it looked like he might be unable to carry on but like the pro he is he regained his composure to such an extent that everyone I spoke to after assumed this was a rehearsed part of his performance. (It is verbatim after all, maybe the story teller had eaten a particularly spicy meal just before he unburdened his soul?) 

By the last few performances everyone was flying. The Saturday matinee audience was quite small but very nice and laughed much louder than might have been expected. Saturday night was a sell out and probably the highlight of the week. 

It was lovely to see so many friends during the run including Lorna Laidlaw (star of The Mother at Birmingham Rep and Mrs Tembe in Doctors on the BBC) who said very nice things. 

The Spread Eagle is similar to The Old Joint Stock but a little bit smaller, and we are very excited to get the show started tonight. 

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