Thursday, 29 October 2009

Just One of the LCT Boys

Elizabeth, my landlady, makes me bacon and cheese on toast for breakfast this morning and tells me how much she enjoyed having John Dorney (Felix in the LCT tour of "Humble Boy") to stay. Again. I've been here two days and she must have told me about his short pyjamas half a dozen times already. That nightwear certainly made an impression.
The impression I make is of someone who gets up and buggers off early. And of someone who mumbles an as-yet-unlearned monologue to himself at 6.30am. Le Dorney's status of favourite lodger is not under threat...

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

New Moves

We're rehearsing again this morning. One of the things that bugged me last night was that Pato was two people, or rather a half-formed new person still limping around in blocking that didn't suit him. This is what Michael wants to repair.

We started talking about the character in terms of damage and distance, but the few notes I've made don't correlate with this at all. There's loneliness, loyalty and poetry in him - he's a flirt and a charmer, too. He stays close.

We re-block it again. Now Maureen and Pato move in orbit, never exceeding a couple of feet or so. It starts to feel flirtatious and gently erotic. The final close contact becomes the inevitable end to the slightly halting pas de deux of the courtship. I really, really like this scene now, but Alice is playing her cards close and I can't tell whether she does.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Only if the Cap Fits...

I remember when we started re-rehearsing "Abigail's Party" we strictly and consciously avoided mentioning details of the previous production unless absolutely necessary. And that was a great idea, the new show was totally different and equally valid in a way I never would have thought possible.
Here though, I find myself asking "what did he do?" or "what was his physicality like here?". Surely the only way we can get this on by tonight is if I replicate as exactly as possible what has gone before. It's not ideal, but as Blackadder says, "Needs must when the devil vomits in your kettle".
It becomes abundantly clear very quickly that he and I are very, very different. What came before feels odd to me, like wearing a pair of shoes which don't fit, but otherwise it means going barefoot over the hot coals.
Michael suggests a change, and it's Pato's distance from Maureen which catalyses it. I can't get the changes of gear from intimacy to separation, but as soon as M. suggests I abandon it and play an intention to remain close to Maureen, I feel instantly better. Instantly he becomes a man I begin to understand.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Beauty has her Way

It's confirmed the following afternoon. The current incumbent will do tonight's show and probably won't continue into next week. Which means I have 48 hours to learn the part which is, well, not a lot really.
At least I have a copy of the script, "The Beauty Queen of Leenane", which I bought when I first heard the show was being planned, intending to possibly put myself up. But it wasn't the right time. Ironically I went to see the show in Chipping Norton a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed the bittersweet experience of watching someone else do a part which I knew I would have loved to play. Tangled webs and all that.

Down to work.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

A Phone Line of Beauty

Ol' Cap'n Cabot can has a very individual way of presenting things. I'm especially thinking of the phrase "I think what this scene needs is better acting from you, Dineen" in a notes session, but there are others, I'm sure.
I know something's up when he calls on Friday night after 11pm. Something he describes as "a situation" has arisen on his latest tour. We think the conversation went something like this:
"I may need a fortysomething actor with a flawless Galway accent to step in at very short notice - do you know anyone?"
"No, not really. But what about a fortysomething actor who has watched a lot of Father Ted?"
"That might work. It's not you, is it?"