Awaiting home

posted in: Hotel Lessons | 0

Which is the name of the joint production we are putting on with Compass, the poster for which is shown above.  The blurb for our half of the show is not at all a bad summary, all the more so since it was gleaned from the very few words I gave to Leah at Compass.  There are a couple of minor errors – not all live in the Holiday Inn (the others are at Best Western), and more importantly the name of the company is wrong, since I gave them the wrong name, mis-remembering or mis-reading the name Frishta had given me, which should be Zhvan, Farsi for “a happy place”… or at least I very much hope so.  Frishta was understandably a little annoyed with me, but I think we have it sorted now.

Seeing as the performance is one week and two days away, it was a little disappointing that we had only two-thirds of our cast there, with Abdulaziz having to attend a meeting with his lawyer, Naomi somewhere in London, and Sherwan unable to attend until the actual day (at least I knew about this one.)  But actually, I was relatively reassured.  They have all made an effort with their lines, and though they are struggling and stumbling, I was (for me) relatively strict, insisting they did not rely on their books – it is only storing up trouble for later, and more crucial, times.

We rehearsed what we could, in an ad hoc sort of way, running through all the paired scenes which reflect their encounters with officialdom, as well as, crucially, Godot – we had Ali, and this is his major contribution.  Admittedly, we did have me standing in for Abdulaziz, and I am a little more reliable, but in general, it went well.  With one definite hiccup.  They all wear clown noses for this scene, sponge ones which just sit on the nose.  Except that there was no way that Ali’s would stay on – his nose is too broad and flat.  But that will be sorted – I did think of Copydex (a sort of adhesive), but Val is going to fix elastic on to his.  (The remaining issue is whether I need to do the same for Abdulaziz, as he was not there to try his on, but am concerned that I am now wandering into unconscious racism.)

But then we decided to run the opening scene, and somehow stumbled into a run-through of sorts, which had some gaps, but also proved to everyone that we could do the whole play.  Like I say – encouraging.  My one major concern (other than the logistics of getting them all there on time) is that they will not be loud enough.  Hard enough for most performers (just listen to Anthony Hopkins going on about it) but especially so for desperately inexperienced actors dealing with talking in another language.

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