The highlight of my career so far
February 26, 2013
It's Sunday and I've just had a blissful day off with my two roomies in the sunshine in Warwick castle, topped off with a three course meal and glass of bubbly. Bliss.
On Tuesday afternoon we had our understudy run. It was, without question, the highlight of my career so far.
We had four days to rehearse the entire play. Our dear Assistant Director Elle whipped us into shape at lightening speed. We had been through most scenes twice and had to be at performance-level at first rehearsal. Though nervous, I felt ready and so relieved to be working alongside such an extraordinary understudy cast.
Ben Whybrow, who played Leontes, and I had been working together quietly for months and by our first (and only!) performance I felt so safe in his hands. He is a phenomenal talent.
I am not sure I really understood the word ensemble until we stepped out onto the RST stage that day. We were all playing roles we had never played before and knew we'd need each other should anything go wrong.
Everyone had worked so hard and deserved to have an amazing show. I witnessed performances that day that I will never forget.
The response from the audience was electric (as you'd expect with half of Wales in the auditorium!).
A few hours later, having spent an hour with my dear friends and family, I was back in costume as Emilia. There were a few knowing looks between the understudy cast that evening as we knew our afternoon had been very special.
I am, above all, grateful to have had the opportunity to play both Hermione and Perdita on the RST stage.
It was a day I'll never forget.
by Bethan Walker
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