Just as things seem to be settling into a good rhythm with a few weeks to go, our director received a message that threatened to destroy everything we’ve all been working for.
With just a month to go until opening night, three actors pulled out of the production.
While our initial reactions may have varied across the group as a whole, I think the overwhelming feeling is that of frustration. Everyone signs up to an am-dram production in the knowledge that it’s a commitment and one where you’re doing it for the LOVE of it. No one’s getting paid, everything is done on a shoestring, and the rehearsal period is never as long as it needs to be to get everything completed. We become a team, a bizarre family of sorts, so when someone jumps ship it does sting somewhat. Sympathy will always be given when sympathy is due, but it doesn’t necessarily apply here. We were all incredibly disappointed.
Yes, there has been a lot of swearing, and a great deal of worry, but then the am-dram network fired up beautifully and now we’re back to a full cast once more! The level of appreciation for the wonderful actors who’ve stepped up to the plate cannot be expressed well enough here. Needless to say, we’re over the moon that they’ve joined us for what will be an amazing show, and they will be bought many drinks!
The rehearsal the day of the news was, understandably, downbeat. The energy that had been ramping up as we all came off books was depleted. But things change quickly in the world of theatre, and once we’d confirmed our AMAZING new performers we found ourselves even more fired up than before.
Sure, it means these guys have 3 weeks to learn quite a few lines, and get to know a whole cast bar the one or two people they have worked with before, and it also means a bunch of extra last-minute work like new headshots and bios to be added to an otherwise almost complete programme – but it will all be worth it.
In more exciting news thanks to our Set Build last weekend – we have had a rehearsal on the stage, which in itself has brought up a whole host of sightline issues, and costume practicalities to consider. But it has been a perfect time to introduce new cast members as it was a slower paced rehearsal as we all found our feet and tried to remember which way the door opens.
The show must go on, so they say, and when the you-know-what hits the fan, it’s good to know that, thanks to the embarrassingly brilliant pool of talent here in the Northampton arts community, there will always be someone there ready to help out.
Blackadder’s Christmas Carol runs from 29th November to 2nd December 2017 at Duston Community Centre, NN5 6DT. Tickets are available here (booking fees apply)
Becki is a Mum of 1 and theatre lover originally from Birmingham. She’s a photographer and Mum Blogger and you can find her rambling on Twitter here: @beckicockcroft. As well as being the Founder and Managing Editor for On Stage Northants, she is also the Marketing Manager for Duston Players