Whispers from the Wings

Moving up a gear

October 9, 2012

Yousseff at a costume fittingWell, we have two weeks left to go before we hit Stratford. Things pick up a gear at this point.

This is usually the time when the 'outside world' starts to demand attention. Our bodies have taken a beating and we start to become ill. Colds and sore throats are passed from one to another like a rugby ball.

The warm ups start to focus on certain body parts. Sleep begins to look more and more like one of those rising stock prices you see in all those films about Wall Street and the City.

Friends you haven't seen for years, because one of you is always away on tour, are finally in the same town as you and you try desperately to make some time to see them… 'Maybe you can meet me at rehearsals and we can walk to the tube together?'

Theatres all over London are showing plays that star your nearest and dearest and whom you're very eager to go and support. Doctor's appointments, dental appointments, trips to the bank, trips to an office in town…all these things that were put off, because of the initial excitement of the rehearsal process, begin to knock at your day demanding your attention. Sunday, our usual day of rest, now becomes the day to be productive and 'get things done'…which as of today now includes getting life ready for the move.

And that's the precise time the understudy rehearsals begin. The understudy roles are assigned and there are loads more lines to learn….and to be learned by the time the technical rehearsal begins (officially)….and certainly before the understudy performance (open to the public)! The rehearsals have yielded dance pieces and fights and other bits of choreography that now mandate their own rehearsals at any and all hours.

The rehearsal day now comprises rehearsal evenings too, and you're walking home to the tube at the time you used to be getting into bed.

Time, which all this while has been creeping forward, now starts to count down.

I'm going to be understudying the lead baddie Tuang Gu in The Orphan of Zhao, and Boris Godunov in Boris Godunov. They are two whopping roles, and a real privilege to be asked to cover them.

Joe Dixon plays Tuang Gu in the show, and Lloyd Hutchinson plays Boris. They are both terrific performers and are going to smash their respective roles. If you've ever seen them perform, then you know just how great they are. I'd rather play barefoot than fill their shoes.

I can only hope the understudy run goes well…while beginning each rehearsal with the silent oath 'I hereby undertake to keep these two juggernauts healthy, hearty, and operating at maximum immune systems forever and ever and ever…Amin.'

And they say we're lazy…

by Youssef Kerkour  |  No comments yet

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