Lovers and Liars : A David Garrick Double Bill
(Actor playing ‘Cook’)
The penultimate week before a performance is always my favourite. The panic of knowing you only have a few days before you’re onstage hasn’t quite taken over, but there’s always a nervous energy that starts to develop around this time and I find this really helps to give me focus and the adrenaline I need to last me until performance time.
This week has been particularly enjoyable as an actor, because at this late stage we are now beginning to see the set as it will be on the night, rather than acting with just an idea in our heads. Having this set in place has helped bring the piece to life, particularly the comedic elements of the play, but has equally offered some new challenges. For example, acting with real swords is far more difficult than first imagined, with most of the cast having been prancing around the stage in earlier rehearsals like the Errol Flynn wannabes we all secretly are. Similarly, the art of timing is key to farce and concentrating on refining all our moves on stage and executing them as closely as possible to what the director originally imagined, has been a key focus of this week’s rehearsal efforts. The Scenic Stage Theatre is very large and has a lot of potential for great plays if used properly, but the fear is that the sheer size of the stage may swallow the actors and leave us looking like we have no presence. With this in mind, I have tried to make my character larger than life in the final few days of rehearsal. Once the final tweaks have been made by designers, my main concern will be in filling the stage and making the comedy of the piece as precise and perfect as possible. I can’t help but feel it’s what Garrick would have wanted.