A brief pit-stop between the London debut of Dress Circle and its opening at the Brighton Fringe this Thursday, May 9th at The Old Court Room.
So, Laurie Graham, how was it for you?
It was gut-churning, nail-biting and also the most enormous fun. Friends and family turned out for me, and so did some amazing fans. Pam Redrup did a great job of directing. Sian Hawthorn carried off a 55 minute tour de force. Can you imagine being alone on stage for nearly an hour? Worse still, can you imagine being able to see the whites of your audience’s eyes? Baron’s Court was an… ahem, intimate space. Sian could probably see people’s dandruff.
I sat through all six performances. You need to really, to note which lines always get a laugh and which lines never do. Then I went back to my hotel room and carried out a bit of surgery – nothing radical, just the theatrical equivalent of removing a skin tag or two. Anyone who saw the play in London and then sees it in Brighton, i.e. my poor husband, will find that ‘collecting Toby jugs’ has been replaced by ‘breeding budgies’. No-one knows what Toby jugs are any more. They had to go.
Also Alvechurch has become Bromsgrove. Alvechurch is one of those words that gets swallowed. It sounded like ‘Our Church’, which made no sense at all. But anyway, only a play’s mother would notice these little tweaks.
I’m looking forward to Brighton. I now know that the script works, I now know it’s in very safe hands, and the worst that can happen is an empty auditorium. Offset that against sea air, good fish and chips, and some granny-time with one of my little granddaughters. Life is good.