Two weeks and two days to go before the performance! So it wasn’t the best news to hear that neither Ali nor Abdulaziz would be able to be with us today, Abdulaziz because he had some family visiting, Ali for some unspecified appointment. Rather more permanent, was the news that Fola would be leaving on Friday to go to Luton, where she has some family. She was a little upset at having to miss the performance, but clearly delighted that hr long wait was coming to an end. Her situation is particularly complicated, and I have to say I don’t fully understand it, but she has been waiting three years for a decision on her asylum application.
As for us, our emotions were similar. We were all delighted for Fola, but a little concerned about the effect on the performance. We discussed the matter, as we really could do with a replacement, and discussed various possibilities, and then Naomi entered. Like Fola, she is from Nigeria, but she had heard of the Drama group and had popped in to see what was happening. And suddenly she was being invited to join the cast for a performance in two weeks (and two days.)
Luckily, from our point of view, she did not run screaming from the room, though she was understandably reluctant to commit herself immediately. However, by the end of the session, she was pretty much signed up, had already rehearsed a couple of Fola’s roles, and we were back to our full contingent. Indeed, there was briefly the possibility of recruiting an extra member, when Jakob, a young man from Bahrein whom the others had mentioned several times, also came in to see what was going on, and participated in a couple of our group scenes. He drifted away again before the end, however, so I suspect we will not see him again.
Other than these distractions, it was a reasonably productive rehearsal, though, somewhat worryingly, some of the cast are a long way from being “off-book”. And we could not even touch our Godot extract, with two actors missing (and what is more, the two most in need of rehearsal.) But several scenes are looking good, and we had time to look at the red noses, which round off the show, being used first by the Godot characters, and then everyone else.
So, still much to do in our remaining time, but I am reasonably confident, provided I can get them to speak up sufficiently to be heard.
And one other piece of excellent news. Aisha has been accepted for a place at Cardiff Uni in September, to study Bio/Medical Science, provided she passes her English proficiency exam.