Hello Ladies & Gents,
Welcome to the first blog for the Wait Until Dark UK Tour! Exciting times. I am Graeme, I am playing the role of ‘Croker’ who is one of the baddies! Wuuu ha ha ha. I am writing this to you from the kitchen of our rehearsal rooms during day two of our rehearsals so I will fill you in on some life so far.
We all met yesterday for the first time as a cast. Some of us know each other a little – I had seen Shannon in a production of Shadowlands in 2016 (she was ace!), I know Tom McCarron from a production of Measure for Measure in Birmingham in 2010 (we are old!), I know that Tom & Oli knew each other from a production for Bill Kenwright – however it still a bit like your first day at school everyone getting together and meeting for the first time and reading through a play. You’ll be pleased to know that our day didn’t descend into a massive fight and everyone got on super well, which is always positive as you’re about to embark on a large UK tour and essentially live in each others pockets until December.
What is rather novel about this process is that we walked into our first rehearsal with . . . . a complete set. Now – that may not sound amazing if you’re working with a minimalist set however we are not. We are working with a perfect replica of a Notting Hill downstairs apartment. It is rather huge. When you’re working on large nationwide tours, you usually rehearse almost with an ad-hoc set and then once you arrive at your opening theatre ‘shazam’ you get a big old set. It’s all rather exciting. We have a set for a number of reasons. Firstly – the stage directions – Mr Knott is rather particular about his spacing and movement, therefore it was rather imperative that we know the exact spacing and dimensions of a set before we then put install our own journey and geography to it (man, that sounds rather artistic doesn’t it, I apologise immediately). Also, the lead in Wait Until Dark is Susy who happens to be blind – and our Susy is being played by the rather brilliant Karina Jones, who is also registered blind. Therefore to accommodate and support Karina appropriately, the set was completed in time. All in all – its pretty novel and rather awesome. From a cast perspective, its very good – however it does come with a slight challenge as you immediately start trying to find sightlines, work with props, establish a quick understanding of your space etc, etc – however doing that whilst your script is in your hand and you’re trying to ‘play’ as an actor does become challenging. I’m not complaining, don’t get me wrong! I am not complaining because hopefully our tech week in Eastbourne will be smooth and easy from that perspective and wont be like the usual 12-14 hour days!
Anyway – I often get accused by the dictator of the blogs (OTC Communications Manager Emma Martin) that my blogs are too long, so I will leave at this point. The aim is to get a new blog out there each week, so hopefully you will get regular updates from the Wait Until Dark team as we power through rehearsals and get ready for our mammoth tour starting in Eastbourne in late August and then going via Richmond, Cheltenham, Cambridge, Salisbury, Exeter, Lichfield, Malvern, Southend, Ipswich, Cardiff, York and finished in Guildford on Saturday 2ndDecember.