Friday, 4 March 2011

Gut Girls - second night lows

Some things you learn early in life. I think I've always known the danger of getting 'too big for my boots' the impending disaster of pride before a fall.  I know I quickly mastered the basic techniques of  avoiding disappointment 'Don't Look Forward to Anything Too Much',  'Always Expect the Worst', and 'Pretend it Doesn't Matter';

So, I really should have known that after a great opening night, our second performance was likely to feel flat. The energy and excitement that had got us through the previous evening had somehow disappeared and for the first half an hour it felt like we were going through the scenes in  slow motion. We found ourselves moving awkwardly around each other on the stage, stumbling over our words, leaving just too much of a gap between each other's lines. Halfway through our opening scene someone accidentally knocked against the table that wasn't meant to fall apart until later in the play. We'd only just managed to stifle the embarrassed giggles when one of the back-stage speakers fell down from the wall with a thunderous crash.

Worse, our missing exuberance seemed to be having an effect on the audience. At our first show, every time the lights went down, the audience had applauded. Last night it was as though everyone there was waiting for someone else to react first. Scene after scene passed by in deathly silence, the longer it went on, the worse it seemed to be, as the lines that we'd thought were sure-fire winners began to sink without trace.

Backstage we were starting to despair, each of us individually blaming ourselves for not quite getting it right. But then I think someone finally remembered that we were supposed to be having fun, so we started plotting ways to wake the audience up, to shock them from their slumbers, shake them from their timidity. And strangely enough, as we sat there thinking of ways to bring the audience to life we started to recapture some of our own confidence and enthusiasm. By the end of the night it felt like we were all back on track. There wasn't one of us who could have done it on our own, but somehow, between us we'd managed to turn it round.

In a short while we'll be trying to do it all again. And I'll be struggling with the added nervousness brought on by knowing that tonight Philip will be sitting out front. I know, once again, I'll be relying on my fellow cast and crew members to get me through, so I don't think there's any better way to end this post than by introducing you to some of my partners in crime, the splendid cast of the Gut Girls.







Rohini Prasanth said...

thank you for sharing the pics! everyone seems perfectly in character!
I am sorry you had a setback.. but isn't it awesome fighting it off as a team? your fellow cast members rely on you as much as you rely on them and together you will do fabulous! surprise Philip :)
all the best!

Sally-Sal said...

May tonight be your best show yet!

The pictures were terrific. Such beautifully expressive faces.

Will Philip record a bit of it so we can see you in action?

NanU said...

The third show will be great! opening jitters done with, second-time low is over, time to relax and really have fun.

Liz said...

Go get 'em!

Those costumes are great.

caterpillar said...

Liked the first pic best...he seems to be all set to go on stage...and good luck with the show...I'm sure you guys are going to rock!

Baglady said...

I've never acted but I can imagine the difficulty of having an audience that doesn't react how it should. Hope tonight that it was easier to get into the flow.

jill said...

I am so in awe of anyone that can get up on stage, it must be so difficult and you turned the audience around. Good luck for future performances. Im sure it will be a smash hit because of your work as a team.

FigMince said...

It's a law (and also part of The Mystery). Second nights are always flat, just like second albums and second series of TV shows.

As for audience reactions, back in my amateur thespian days we did a British farce about tourists in a cheap Spanish pension. It got us huge laughs for the first three performances, but on the fourth night there was nothing coming back from out there. During a break offstage, I was ready to slash my wrists, but the director explained that the night's audience was made up of people from the local retirement village who were loving it, but laughing very quietly.

legend in his own lunchtime said...

You were all probably just coming down from the first night high.
Your compatriots all look so much fun. Enjoy the rest of the show

Jayne said...

Good recovery, Sharon! It can't always be exactly was we planned, you you got through it well. I think Philip will be a boost. I've been on stage (to sing, not act), and I find it comforting to have my family and friend near. I know they're rooting for me, as Philip will do for you.
Wishing you continued success. :)
(Looks like a fun group!)

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