Well, Wimbledon Studio is done and dusted, and I feel happy and relieved and very keen to find further venues for the show.
Friday and Saturday nights were less nerve-wracking than the first two. Each night, but especially the first two, I really felt the loneliness of the solo performer as I paced in my dressing room beforehand. Even though I’m not really alone in this endeavour: my man, Jon is my techie, operating lights and sound, and a rock in other ways too, but just before going on, knowing I’ve got 70 minutes of show to do by myself, I feel a substantial weight of responsibility and an icky fear of failure.
When onstage, the first few minutes are a bedding-in (no pun intended), and then, having established that I can speak and move and haven’t lost the use of body or voice, I start to enjoy it, relishing words and moves I particularly like, measuring the pace, keeping a rhythm, trying to keep the flow of the thing. It is a dance (though I am not in any sense a proper dancer), a musical composition (though I cannot play or read music), a painting with words and movements (and I don’t paint). I risk sounding a pseudy old devil for saying these things, but in a solo performance, where I’m shifting locations, characters, accents and moods constantly, it’s so much easier to feel the thing as a piece of art that has relationship with other art forms than when in a multi cast play.
The response to the show has been fantastic. A lot of friends, old and new came and noone ran away from me in the bar afterwards. I didn’t see any insincere smiles or hear any platitudes. People had different favourite bits, or felt different resonances with their own experiences. I discovered that the young people, mentioned in posting 1 were all from a Sixth Form College (all girls) and their (male) teacher had brought them. I think that was really cool of him, as some teachers would’ve thought the show looked too risque for their kids. Apparently, they really enjoyed it. I’d love to hear more specifics, girls…I think its a great show for teenagers – it’s about a real life and its sexual escapades both good and ill, and it’s the opposite of dry sex education.
None of the boyfriends in the show has turned up to see it yet (though one knows he’s in it!) and I don’t expect them to. But my mate Kath, who is in it, saw the show for the second time, and was pleased that she seems ‘cool’ in it. I have heard on the grapevine that a couple of ex-lovers are unhappy that they’re NOT in it. But what if I’d slagged you off boys?….
I want to plug my director, Laura Lloyd, who has been the most wonderful collaborator on Lady in Bed all the way along. She is a great writer and performer herself, but with me became a stimulating, thoughtful, patient, incisive director. In an artistic trade we did, I directed her one-woman piece, Patchwork. Some days of rehearsal, we’d do mine in the morning, hers in the afternoon. Sometimes we gritted our teeth with each other, sometimes Laura got me out of sad troughs as I excavated uncomfortable material, sometimes it was hard. But mainly it was great, and I look back on our rehearsals in The Cut in Halesworth, in the Kings Head in Crouch End, in the school at the Oval, and in our front rooms, with a misty-eyed nostalgia and a warm feeling.
Just found out today that a friend is going to produce one night for me at The Space in Stroud!
Am very excited about this blog, couldn’t actually sleep the other night thinking of its possibilities. Bloggers world, I’m here…