Hi, me again. Writing to you from Eastbourne this time, with four shows already under our belt!
That's right, we are now open. After three long days of technical rehearsal (around 12 hours a day!) and two dress rehearsals we performed to our first audience on Thursday night. And...it went well!
First nights are always nerve-wracking; showing our work to people for the very first time, hoping we've remembered all the things that changed during the tech, praying that our costumes don't malfunction and of course, perform the show the best we can and enjoy it too. But even with all these things going round our heads, the adrenaline kicks in and as soon as you can hear the audience taking their seats its all action stations and we did it! Everything went smoothly technical wise, nobody fell off the stage or fell flat on their face (unless intentionally) and the audience seemed engaged, listening, laughing and even gasping at certain things. I won't say what or that may spoil it. I think everybody is pleased with how it is going so far. We have still been in for notes and rehearsals to tweak a few things here and there but that's exactly how it should be.
When you are doing a play which is touring for a long time it would be odd if everything was exactly perfect on the very first preview. Our director Alastair spoke to us about it and I definitely agree, we have time ahead of us to explore and find new things which will keep the play nice and fresh for the all the performances ahead (96 to be exact!)
Something I was excited about from the technical rehearsal was that we were allowed to create a full blackout for the final scenes. The auditorium is in complete, utter darkness. Pretty scary, right? It really gives the performance something unique and allows the audience to have an exciting, disorientating and hopefully chilling experience. It does mean we have to take extra care backstage of course but it is so worth it for the full effect out there. And luckily the lights have always come back on, so far...
We have all been working hard but now have two days off for the bank holiday and luckily the sun is shining. I came to Eastbourne in March 2016 with the tour of Shadowlands when it was a all bit grey and chilly but this time it is really living up to its nickname of the Sunshine Coast. Being from a seaside town myself I love being by the sea, the fresh air and the views so I have been making the most of it and the others have too, running, walking, even swimming in the sea! A perfect way to relax and enjoy the outdoors in between shows.
Speaking of which, I'm going to head out for an evening stroll on the promenade myself, maybe check out the fish and chips down south, so I shall say goodbye for now.