Some say he “never lifted a finger in the house or the garden… couldn’t even be bothered to wipe the toilet down…” …but he worked hard…
It’s that time of year again. The last few months have been taken up line learning.
Usually my character is the slightly clownish, likable simpleton, or a friendly comic addition, but this one’s a tad different.
I’m playing a bloke who is a tad sarcastic and ignorant. He’s a good bloke deep down, but perhaps familiarity over the years has made him contemptuous and negligent… just a tad? Or perhaps he gave up everything too, but lost sight of everything also?
It’s been a challenge playing a heedless rude character*, it does not come naturally (some may think otherwise).
For me perhaps being on stage started in the late 1980s with Joey Wizzbang the Clown in a Cornish pantomime. This progressed through things like ‘Teddy’ in Pinter’s The Homecoming, ‘Lucky’ in Beckett’s ‘Godot, and jump to recent years and a few comic japes with Syston’s QT Theatre. Most recently, I played John, QT’s hugely enjoyable production of Ayckbourn’s Absent Friends.
As mentioned, QT Theatre‘s May production is a tad different.
Pretzels for Dinner, by Janet Shaw is directed by our own Jude Latham. It’s ‘a bitter-sweet comedy looking at life through the eyes of Anne’ …married to Bill for thirty-five years, she devoted her adult life to being a wife, a mother, and her daily routine, like her weekly shop at Asda. As life goes on, can Anne remember dreams and ambitions?
Some say Bill “never lifted a finger in the house or the garden… couldn’t even be bothered to wipe the toilet down…”
We’ll see if he lives to regret that attitude.
QT Theatre’s production of Pretzels for Dinner is on in Syston from 23 – 26 May, by arrangement with Stagescripts Ltd.
*On a more serious note, to play a character fully you do need to feel it. The ‘trusting’ of a character is not rehearsed; we act a rehearsed part, but to some extent it’s with feeling that we can then trust in the transference of truth to an audience. Feeling another character can be an odd experience, and this one has been a little awkward. I have found bits of Bill’s ‘character’ coming out at home in my conversations with our temperamental smart speakers, and in my response to our dog when he pesters for scraps. I have also had some seriously traumatic dreams that I put down in part to the characters and narratives of the play. Here’s to Bill!… he means well, but thinks he prefers Cleethorpes to Sharm El-Sheikh.