The Chester Mystery Plays team has kindly agreed that one of its players, Paul Williams, can write a diary for this blog. Here’s the seventh instalment.
Monday 17th June. Tech rehearsal, plays 1-3
It feels so nice to finally be up there performing under the lights and in Costume. I’m glad it feels so nice as being in a tech involves standing up there under the lights for a very long time, sweating profusely whilst someone inches a light a few millimetres to the left. I love Mondays.
Tuesday 18th June, Tech rehearsal, plays 4-6
Tonight we got to do the Shepherds scene on stage, in costume and going at full pelt for the very first time. It was good. The stage management team on this production are really on fire and tonight was so smooth that I actually thought we were in a performance. This illusion stayed with me until we left the stage and I heard someone shout “can we go again please?!” Ah well, swings and roundabouts.
Wednesday 19th June, Tech rehearsal, plays 7-8
Betrayal and death was our theme tonight as we moved in to the second half of the show. I must say this: the choir are absolutely awesome. They really do just get better and better and hearing them pelt out the opening number of the second act was a joy to behold. I’m very tired, as is everyone else, but little moments like that help one get through the week of working days and rehearsing nights. The crucifixion is also stunning. This half will have tears flowing I’m sure.
Thursday 20th June, Tech rehearsal, playas 9-11
What can I say? We’ve got through the show and it feels great and is looking good. I suppose all is in the lap of the gods now.
Friday 21st June, Tech rehearsal
Tonight we went through the scenes with the children. The kids are really great and have fantastic energy. They have a tendency to remember where they are on stage better than I can, which makes me slightly perturbed and wistful about my youth. Then I remember the gawky awkward youngster I was and cringe in embarrassment. By the time this thought process is over my fellow cast members are yelling at me to get to my rightful stage position. It’s a vicious circle.
Saturday 22nd June, 1st dress rehearsal
It was nice to see everything come together today. There are still bits that need to be worked on, but all in all we seem to be in a pretty good place. Complacency cannot be afforded however and we shall have to see what the future brings. I sincerely hope that this cast, with all the work we have put in, can do a thoroughly good job at delivering something of real quality to an audience. But first, I intend to spend Sunday in bed.