Whispers from the Wings

Time to pinch myself

October 22, 2013

Elliot Barnes-WorrellIn the last week I have packed up the young boy from south east London.

I moved him to a little flat in Stratford.

I 'teched' our show from 10am to 10pm.

I walked out on to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre stage in front of more than 1000 people, making my debut with the RSC.

I danced a hole in my socks at the press night party, and high fived Oliver Ford Davies backstage.

It has been hard to reflect upon these miraculous events, for two main reasons. Firstly because there has been no time between each one to stand back and be taken-a-back by the magnitude of them. And secondly there has been a surreal magic to all of these things that has felt impossible and dream-like.

I would have pinched myself to make sure every awesome thing I had experienced this week was indeed real, but I assure you there has been little time for pinching.

Even writing this now I feel like I'm writing about someone else. I do however feel that I have to recognise that this boy I'm writing about is me. That I am here and that I have worked hard to be here. I fear that if I don't acknowledge this, I will let this experience slip away and mark it down to some magic moment that happened when I was young.

How did I get here?
Everything that has happened to me in the last week is a product of luck, good fortune and hard work. I graduated from drama school last year. I worked really hard while I was there, and tried desperately to grasp every opportunity.

This meant often getting things wrong and majorly messing up. I graduated and had auditions that I was awful in. Learning from these, you pick yourself up and go again and again and again.

Then something works, it clicks. The days of preparation you have put in, the years of training, and a lot of luck pay off and you land a job (in this case a dream job).

And then you have to work even harder, because the challenges the job confronts you with are incredibly difficult and wonderfully rewarding.

Having said all of this, it is still hard to cling on to these ideas and live in the moment when Oliver Ford Davies gives you a high five!

Image: Elliot Barnes-Worrell on stage at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre playing the groom in Richard II

Photograph by Kwame Lestrade 

by Elliot Barnes-Worrell  |  6 comments

Previous in Whispers from the Wings
« To do: buy tissues

Next in Whispers from the Wings
Getting the thrust »


Oct 23, 5:17pm
Ruth W

I saw the production of Richard II last night and can honestly say, I was opened mouthed by the end. A really amazing production and as the applause grew I could find no words except 'wow'.

David Tennant did a wonderful job headlining but the entire cast were just brilliant. Gripping performances throughout!

Thank you to all - thoroughly enjoyed watching each and every one of you!

Oct 23, 7:38pm
Chris Haynes

Congratulations! We saw you on Monday night.
Re. Oliver Ford Davies: listen carefully and learn! In our estimation he was by far the best actor (other than DT, of course) . It was his deep understanding of what the text is saying and ability to communicate a (the?) *meaning*, not just the words, which was awesome.

Oct 24, 8:50am
Jane R

Hopefully, this opportunity is only the beginning for you. Good luck for the future.

Oct 24, 10:23am

Congratulations! Enjoy and absorb every minute!

Good luck with your career! I'm sure you'll be back soon!

Oct 24, 9:19pm
LJ Decker

Congratulations on having such an incredibly opportunity presented to you much earlier in your career than most. (I rather think this reflects upon you fully as much as upon luck, if not, more so!) Consider that you are now in graduate school! Grab every moment and wring as much learning and discovery of your craft as you can from each and every second! Your education while part of the RSC will directly inform your masterworks for the rest of your life. How incredibly fortunate and well-earned! You are learning from some of the greatest theatrical talents in THE most world renowned theater company of all! Drink it all in and let it shape your craft and tune your talent to its finest being.

Dec 5, 5:27pm
Gracy Goldman

Proud of you El, keep going, You are obviously not any oppprtunities you have here slip by, and it's showing! Keep up the good work! [Old head on young shoulders!] Gxx

Post a Comment

Email address is optional and won't be published.
We ask just in case we need to contact you.

We reserve the right not to publish your comments, and please note that any contribution you make is subject to our website terms of use.

Email newsletter

Sign up to email updates for the latest RSC news:

RSC Members

Already an RSC Member or Supporter? Sign in here.

Teaching Shakespeare