Whispers from the Wings

'Harsh and awesome'

February 8, 2013

Ian McDiarmid backstage in GalileoIt's snowing. It's very cold outside and inhospitable and difficult to navigate. The rehearsal rooms are a 22 minute walk away from my digs on a normal day but with the snow and ice it takes 32 minutes.

Precious morning time is eaten up on the walk over. But the view is incredible. The night is still and the moon reflects off the snow giving the night air a pink incandescence. It's beautiful. Harsh and awesome at the same time.

That's how this final week of rehearsal will come across to the naked eye. It's the third play of the season so the short straw is drawn in many ways. We're tired. We've done this all before. We strain to rev the engine up every morning.

But when you sit on the floor of the rehearsal room, knackered, slightly broken, sore from the play the night before, watching one of the run-throughs of the play; you can see the beauty in this art form manifested in the scores of scribbling hands taking notes.

Actors stretch in the corner or stare at a spot on the wall... 'getting into character'. The heads of wardrobe, hair and make up, stage crew etc all take down copious notes to pass on to their team so that when we make it to the theatre everyone knows what goes where and what happens next. Indeed they are often the ones reminding us what to do.

The RSC is a big machine, yes but the gears that turn within it are very human and continually inspiring to watch work.

The play itself is shaping up. There is a shower. There are masks. There's a hoola hoop flying across the stage. There are balls rolling off the stage. There are blocks of ice. It's going to be mad but awesome!

icy stratford

by Youssef Kerkour  |  No comments yet

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