I always find doing theatre surreal. Doing the same thing night after night to very different crowd reactions can be very bizarre. OK, doing the same scene over and over again in TV or film for different camera angles while trying to remember exactly what you did with your hands to avoid effortlessly screwing up the continuity could also be thought of as surreal, but I find that less so than getting a big laugh on a line one night and a stoney silence the next night.
Last night we had a very quiet crowd. The occasional glimpse of a face would generally show a smile, and feedback afterwards was good, but it’s amazing how hard it can be to keep the energy up when in your mind you’re constantly thinking: “God, they hate it!”. As a despondant Luke Kaile came off stage after breaking for the interval I’m sure I helped no end with my comment: “I wonder how many of them will come back?”, but that’s the way it goes.
Another thing I’m finding a new experience is people seeming to think I’m actually the same as my character. If you haven’t seen the play, I spend a lot of time being very aggressive, unpredictable, creepy and violent. Some people have timidly come up to me in the bar afterwards and told me how scary I was, which instantly prompts me in to becoming very meek and awkward, saying things like “oh, er, sorry about that! Er, thanks for coming!” One night I couldn’t believe my ears when Hannah (Lydia) and Fleur (Nanou) both revealed they had friends who had wanted to meet the cast, but not me because they were too scared! I wonder if this is what soap actors feel like as people shout their character names at them in the street, berating them for some foul deed they’ve just seen on TV, seemingly oblivious to the fact that the actor and character are not actually the same.
Anyway, I’m happy to say that our first review is a very good one, and I’d like to say well done to everyone involved. Interestingly, considering what an impact my character seems to make, whether good or bad, the reviewer hasn’t made even the slightest reference to me, good or bad! Perhaps she was too scared…
(last performances tonight 7pm and Sunday 6pm)