Post-Production Depression

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Well done to all of this lot!

I’m not sure if there is officially such a syndrome as “Post-Production Depression”, but I know that for many people involved in theatrical productions there is certainly a sense of sadness when they’re over.

Over the last 3 months and especially the last 6 weeks, the cast and crew of The Matchgirls have been like a second family. Some I knew beforehand and others I met at this production. They’ve been a great bunch to work with. We’ve had our ups and downs but I’m glad to have worked with them all for this production, and in a strange way will miss not seeing them tomorrow, as I’ve seen them everyday for the last 2 weeks.

Looking back, how did the run go? Well, it certainly had a rocky start, and was a challenge each night to pull off, towards the end of the run I felt we were in the swing of things. This was the first musical I’ve done and it was a lot harder than I ever thought it was going to be. As a cast we perhaps “bit off more than we could chew”, with this production. John Harries-Rees the Director guided us and helped us pull it out of the bag.

The last 6 nights were all sold-out and that certainly helped us up our game and it was a great buzz to be playing to a full crowd.

The Miller Centre Theatre hasn’t done a musical for a few years previous to this and I imagine there will be a gap before we do another. Lessons have been learnt and we’ll build on that. For now, I’m glad I was given the opportunity to step outside my comfort zone, try something new, makes some great friends and see what it was like to be a “ginger” for two weeks of my life.

Well done to the cast, crew and a big thank you to our family and friends and audiences for giving us your support.

Now I look forward to a well deserved rest!

The Matchgirls – The Photos

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Well it’s the penultimate night tonight, this run has been challenging in many ways (I’ve got LOTS of ideas/material for future blog posts I can assure you!) The good news is that we’ve been SOLD OUT for the last 6 nights and had good attendance the first few nights too.

 

But for now here’s some great pictures from the highly talented photographer Avril Jones.

 

Our Amazing Set! Tony Dent was our fantastic designer and a team of hard-working chaps constructed it

The Empty Space needs people on it to create theatre though - here they are for the wedding scene

Here I am as GBS with my co-stars

I love this picture. and Polly's response to the banner - "Not yet, but I'll let you know when I am!"

Ranting to Annie over the "Tory Press"

A great image from the show - "We've Won!"

All the cast for the finale

Belting out the last number - George Bernard Shaw singing, that's not something you see very often!

The End

 

Two more performances to go and then this show that’s been part of my life intensely these last 3 months will be gone! There’ll definitely be a post on “post-production depression” coming up!

Break a Leg!!! for the last two shows folks!

Rehearsals continue apace

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Rehearsals continue apace for the Matchgirls. We spent a whole day yesterday rehearsing and we actually got through the whole show. I always love the camaraderie in productions and this one is no different. Despite it being a large cast, we’re all getting on well and having a good laugh along the way. We’re an eclectic group of all ages, abilities and experience, which is making for some humorous and interesting rehearsals. What’s nice is the support we’re giving each other and how people are willing to help each other out.

The Director John Harries-Rees in action

Our director John Harries-Rees, is getting to grips with us, and we seem to be slowly getting the play into some shape. We move into the theatre later this week for the remaining rehearsals. That will be a great step forward as we can then get the movements/blocking confirmed/learnt too. A key thing I’m learning from John, is the importance of technique. Getting that sorted is the first step, once the breath, position, lines are learnt we can then develop the play.

Doing further research into my character of George Bernard Shaw has been fascinating, the character of Annie Besant is my main foil in this play, and finding more about her, has also been a discovery. Which bits we use for character development I’m not sure yet. My Irish accent is coming along, but my beard hasn’t, so I’m going to get one made up. (picture to follow)

Tickets are available from here.

Rehearsals, the blood, sweat and tears (more often from laughter) the audience never sees

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Myself and Alex Wakeham rehearsing A Few Good Men earlier this year

Rehearsals commenced for the next production I’m involved in, The Matchgirls, last night, it was great to finally get stuck in, after knowing for a couple of months I had got the part of George Bernard Shaw.

I love the rehearsal period of a production, it’s a time of discovering more about the play, yourself and each other and the camaraderie developed in productions is like nothing else. This show has a large cast of varying ages and abilities, but I got a good “vibe” from everyone last night, that I think bodes well for the rehearsals and more importantly the actual production.

I always feel a bit miffed that the audience of a production only ever see the final product. They never get to see how that came to be. The creative process of taking a script (and score in this case too), and realising that on the stage is what fascinates me about the theatrical process. Currently on TV in the UK is the programme Strictly Come Dancing and while I enjoy seeing the Saturday night dance, I love seeing the video of the couples rehearsing and training the week prior to the show, to see how they and the dance has developed, from just an idea in the choreographers head to a stunning (or not in some cases) piece of dance on the Saturday night.

My role in The Matchgirls isn’t a huge one, and so it’ll give me time to sit back and observe the rehearsal process and hopefully assist others as and when applicable. It can be a very draining experience rehearsing, physically, mentally and emotionally, but it’s necessary for us to push ourselves in order to put on a good piece of theatre.

This will also be the first time I’ve played an historical person on stage too, and one who himself was a playwright makes for quite a unique opportunity. I enjoy his writing and actually feel quite chuffed to be portraying one of my literary inspirations on stage. I’m fortunate as he’s the same age as me in this play, and so I had a look online to see if there were any photos of him from this era of his life and this is what I found;

So I have some work to do in the beard department! However I do like his suit and look forward to being kitted out in something similar.

As the process develops I’ll log some of my observations here, and hope to see some of you at the production in February. (tickets are released at the end of December)