48 hours to go...
August 27, 2013
We started rehearsals four weeks ago and tonight we go into our final dress rehearsal.
For most of this year's Dell participants the costumes will have been packed up, the set dismantled and the dust settled on what, we hope, was a cracking weekend of performances, for us, it is just beginning.
To give you a slight insight into our workings for the next couple of days here is a sneaky look at our programme.
Thursday – 5pm – Pick up Van
Thursday 6.45pm – Dress Rehearsal
Thursday 9.30pm – To a supermarket to buy food for the weekend
Friday 4pm – Head off to Stratford to the racecourse campsite
Friday 6pm (depending on bank holiday traffic)– Set up tents
Friday 9pm – Sit down for a cuppa and relax (while trying not to get too nervous about the next day)
Then we actually get all the cast there on Saturday, immediately try to entice Stratford's early visitors to the show and then spend some time getting used to the venue before kicking off at midday. The turn around is quite nice as our show is only about an hour, so we have a good 75 minutes to reset before we start again. We then have a few fun activities planned before repeating the entire process on Sunday.
Even though all of this makes some elements of the weekend a bit manic, and the stresses of organising a company of 16 are, at times, quite acute, I absolutely love it. We all do.
The Dell weekend is a real highlight for everyone at BMH. The hard work has, every time so far at least, been paid off many times over by that feeling of euphoria when it goes well. There is also an element of honour about it.
Performing by invitation of the RSC is one thing, but also the fact that the stage sits in the shadows of Shakespeare's Church, a stone's throw from where he grew up and around the corner from where some of the world's greatest actors perform for thousands of theatre visitors every year.
This weekend is our time to be part of Stratford's celebrations of its most revered son, it is a chance we always relish and one that this producer, and his cast, cannot wait for.
Bring on midday Saturday and the rest of the weekend.
by Edward Blagrove
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