Whispers from the Wings

KFC on the edge of your hotel room bed

November 22, 2012

It's all very well seeing new places and having new experiences. But sometimes you want to eat and sleep and then get on with your work. You want to try out the new phrases that you have learned, you want to try out the new place that you have heard about. But...

So you give in to your baser instincts. You stop being noble and you fall for the lure of the familiar. And you have some fast food. But you don't want to eat alone. All those foreign people looking at you wondering where all your friends are.

So you go back to your lovely hotel room. You turn on your lovely hotel room telly. And you eat KFC on the edge of your bed. Ah, the glamour of it all. No doubt Olivier did something similar. I am reliably informed.

We get lovely breakfasts here in Moscow. It forces one to get up at a reasonable time and allow the pleasant and completely Russian speaking cleaning staff to wade through the mess you have managed to make in the last 24 hours. But your other meals are a moveable feast.

So, after you have tried borscht (lovely) and the vodka (too many times to mention) what do you eat? I look back through my blogs and begin to discern a bit of a theme here. Food must be an obsession of mine.

So let me tell you about the play. We had a line run in a room surrounded by great Russian actors. All the descriptions were written in Russian so I have no idea who they were but they all looked very earnest and talented.

Of course, there was Stanislavski again. Furrowed brows and gentle eyes, his head resting on his palm in what would today seem quite a studied pose. I wonder how much his ideas on acting would have changed with the advent of TV and film. Maybe not at all.

The line run was interesting for many reasons, mostly, because there had been a gap of several weeks since we last ran the lines together. Things we thought we knew, we didn't. But also because we had the chance to hear the lines afresh.

He could write, that Shakespeare fellow. Lovely to hear actors doing it for real. And it was for real because there was a camera man there, filming it for publicity for the show. There have been quite a few cameras around recently and some if the cast were involved in a press conference where, I am told, a gaggle of press hung eagerly on their every word.

It seems the RSC being here again after nearly 50 years is a big deal. So, you add cameras to actors and what you get is actors really starting to act. The cameras left half way through, presumably having gotten what they wanted. And it was then that we were reminded the other thing about this job: it's quite hard work doing Shakespeare.

It takes physical and emotional effort. Don't get me wrong, it's not coal mining. But it's tougher than it looks, otherwise, every bugger would be doing it.

Will let you know how the show goes. It's bound to be fun. The director will be in so that should liven things up.

Until then, think of me on the edge of my hotel room bed, trying to remember which channel bbc is on whilst trying to eat fast food with a knife and fork.

Finger licking Andrew French

by Andrew French  |  No comments yet


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