Sometimes Too True

That was my answer when asked to describe The Memory of Water in three words for our behind-the-scenes video.

When I first read the script, I felt most drawn to Mary, so I was very pleased to be cast in that role. I feel we share a very similar childhood and young adulthood, and a certain attitude to life. In fact, some of the insults flung at her during the play could have come straight out of my own life!

We are not, however, completely alike. (Luckily – that would just be freaky.) There are another sides to her, her older self in particular, that are not like me at all. Unfortunately, I can’t say any more without including spoilers, so I’ll leave you to decide which ones are which when you see the play.*

So my task was to get into the head of a person who is so much like me and yet so much not... I guess that’s one reason why acting is so challenging yet at the same time so alluring and so much fun.

And it seems that others have also found a lot of truth in this play. When chatting to audience members in the foyer after performances, many people have told me that they were able to identify with aspects of the play in their own lives, especially in the various relationships between the characters.

So, come and see what’s true for you.

The definition of embarrassing: coming in the same dress as your mum.me and mum

*For those who have already seen the show: no, not that one :)

 

Audience Appreciation

Audience Appreciation

Members of the cast, the Directors and all those involved behind the scenes would probably agree that we’ve had really great audiences at our first three performances of “The Memory of Water”.  After each show I’ve heard comments like, “That was the best play I’ve seen in years” or “You people keep getting better and better each time I see you” or “I’m overwhelmed. I laughed a lot but there were tears in my eyes during some parts of the play” or “Great performance! Can’t wait for your next play. Would you consider doing something during the summer?” or “It’s hard to believe that the Finn-Brit Players is an amateur theatre company”

I could tell that the people who said these things weren’t just being polite; these were genuine, heartfelt comments.  You can’t imagine how important this kind of feedback is to us.  Most people don’t realize the countless hours of preparation that go into staging a production like this. But all that effort is somehow made worthwhile when we hear people say, “Hey! You done good”

So hats off to our audiences who have already seen our play and to those who will attend the last three performances on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

“Ovarian emergencies” and other useful pieces of advice

Now that opening night is almost here, it is time to take a look back. I found the little black book that I have filled with comments during our rehearsals. Going through the somewhat incomprehensible scribbles, I found a few comments I thought I could share:

  • Maybe more panicky when no panic
  • More aggressive bullocks
  • Think of the jointyness
  • Brilliant snorts?
  • More ovarian emergency
  • SEX!
  • Don't be a pirate
  • Snappier fridge.

Looking at these directorial gems, it is surprising how beautiful and funny the production has turned out. I guess it helps to have brilliant actors. Smile And, to be fair, these are only a fraction of the comments that me and my directorial partner Anna have given. Next week everyone can find out, how these comments have translated into actions. Exciting!

Behind the Scenes

Have you wondered what our upcoming production 'The Memory of Water' is like? Wonder no more - see what our actors have to say about the play!

Why theatre, Tyler?

Sometime in the end of last century between scenes, tea and biscuits I had a conversation with Reverend Tyler Strand, who played the role of my husband in a Neil Simon production. "Why theatre, Tyler?" I asked, "why not bowling or hang gliding or chess?". "Because theatre gives you a chance for personal growth", he answered, and I think he nailed it beautifully.

Some of my lines in this play have made me tearful again and again and in order to deliver them I have been forced to do some serious soul searching. What is it in these sentences that make me cry? I have not found the answer yet.

As my character Vi tries to make peace with her daughter and herself, I have been asking myself: am I ok with my near and dear ones if I had to dance the last dance?

About to leave

God knows why I’ve accepted to go to Mary’s mother’s funeral. Funerals aren’t a fun thing to start off with but I know she’s going to be in a bad mood all weekend as well. Not least because we’re all going to be under the same roof for 48 hours with her two sisters that she doesn’t get along with.

Despite my tight schedule, I have managed to get a bit of time off work. I’ve been busier than ever for the last few months with a new season of the medical series. In fact, when I think of all the responsibilities I have with Chrissie being ill, the three kids and of course the hospital work to top it all up, I’m amazed I manage to keep it together. We actually had a sequence to shoot this weekend but Mary has been there for me during some rough patches and I just decided I’d have to call it off. I sort of owe it to her to come to this. I just hope it’s not a pretext for another argument about me not spending enough time with her or spending too much time with Chrissie and the kids. People think that having a double relationship is all fun and games but it’s bloody work. More than it’s worth I sometimes think. 

I’ve never met her sisters but I’ve heard about them. One of them supposedly spends her life in Andalusian nightclubs, usually while high on Ecstasy and the other is so obsessed with her health that she pops supplement pills like M&M's. I think that at least one of their partners is supposed to come but I can’t remember which one . It's getting late, I’d better get going or I’ll miss the train.

Mike

Blocking

A lot  goes on behind the scenes when preparing for a theatrical production, even an amateur one.  Once decisions have been made about casting one of the first priorities is for directors and actors to agree on where actors should be on the stage during each scene and how they should move while delivering their lines. The theatrical name given to this process is ”blocking”. 

It may surprise you to know that this doesn’t just happen on its own, it must be planned; otherwise, people could be standing in front of one another or there might be too many actors on one side of the stage or there could be people standing in a line- which would look more like a choir recital than a play.

I suppose that movements on stage come almost naturally to experienced performers but to relative novices, like me, some gentle prodding from the director is usually needed.  In ”The Memory of Water”, we have two directors who are affectionately called the good cop and the bad cop and they don’t hesitate to blow their directorial whistles when an actor is in the wrong place on the stage.  Now, I must get back to the next priority for any actor – learning lines and cues and imagining myself as Frank, my character in ”The Memory of Water”.