By Tim Stedman
Returning after the weekend it was straight into interviews for me. One for a newspaper, another for Stray FM and some voiceovers for the Christmas Lights Switch On as ‘Wishee’. Not being terribly good at interviews I focused on damage limitation but soon became distracted by the sound of my own voice – wouldn’t take a Parkinson to turn me over.
In the afternoon we did a stagger of Act 1. This mixed blessing allows you to wallow in the false security that you’ve “done half the play” whilst drowning in the knowledge of how poorly you know it. Liz and Tom were very good. Grounded, off book and certain of the decisions they’d taken. Jimmy and Gordon too looked comfortable and content with where they were. I was like a rabbit in a set of headlights – should I use the script and feel bad for needing it or plunge headlong into a faltering fight with my memory? My indecision led me to try both. I set myself a reasonably low target and then failed to meet my own expectations.
But today wasn’t a test regarding line learning. It’s about sewing the seeds of characterization, the growth of relationships between characters, of humour, drama and most importantly the seeds of a good story. Knowing your lines is very important. And so is knowing why you’re saying them and what purpose they serve. Sorry there was no blog on Day 5 – I was learning my lines!