Merchant of Venice Second Preview

It Never Rains in Queensgate, but tonight it did rain in the Jack Studio, as planned! Hurrah. Even if we do say so ourselves, it’s pretty darn effective. Has to be seen to be believed.

We are now two previews down, with an opening to go! We’ve been working during the day this week, so no let up for the Merchant Bus quite yet. The work is paying off though, tonight’s performance made progress in many respects from yesterday. This is best summed up in the words of Paul: ‘Good progress from a Tuesday!’ Rose felt we had a successful second night, which we think was helped by a nearly-full audience and a lot more excitement to balance the nerves of the cast. Part of this audience were familiar Lazarus faces, it says a great deal about a company if past actors turn out to support another show. Adam felt we had a good night, ‘peaks and troughs’ as he put it. Or should that be pigs and troughs…

Tomorrow we release our ‘Merchant’ to the press. Audience response has been positive so far, so here’s hoping.

N P

We trundled in today as close to 10:30 as London Transport would permit. So I think it was pushing 12:15 by the time the last soggy, bedraggled actor took their place to receive their notes from the night before. But we all knew the main note for we, the ensemble. Go for it! Be bold and brave and go for it with both hands. So we spent the rest of the day working through bits an pieces and certain scenes that needed looking at. Then comes the half hour call. The dressing room is alive with hums and ahhhhs and noises that fit in with peacock mating calls. Yesterday I put music on my headphones to get into the “zone” I like to make playlists that I think my character would listen to. But tonight I didn’t bother with music, I also didn’t bother with 20 minutes of “inhabiting” the character. Instead I just spent the time being me. As me as possible. So I sat with a cup of tea and dunked a biscuit and relaxed. You might think that sounds incredibly lazy and indulgent and you would only be half wrong. What is does do however, is empty my head. There is nothing going on upstairs just before I go on which allows me a great deal of focus only for the here and now. The moment to moment. And I have to say i think tonight went rather well.

JM

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