An empty stage demands respect. When we arrived for our four hour long technical rehearsal, Lerwick's Garrison Theatre felt like a great vessel's empty hull. Keith's Morrison & David Wagstaff's team of technicians - light, sound engineers hovered like sailors back and forth before the cast left the dressing rooms.
I sat in the front row on the old velvet chair and watched the crew at work.
I love the warmth of each spotlight. Arrays of colours lit the very belly of our craft. When I look back at those moments, I remember an array of orange and yellow shining on the chair placed in the centre of the stage. In the backdrop, a blue ocean.
Serpentine's "A" was just about to shine and emerge from a mist of smoke. Peter Ratter's Three Brides - The Un-Wed did not fail to impress, neither during technical rehearsal nor at this year's 62nd Shetland County Drama Festival. Avant-garde, from the technical, production and visual viewpoints, it did not leave the 2012 adjudicator indifferent. How could it?
The visual stunner
Prompts, costumes, make-up, monologues, repartee, light. Peter playwright & director made it a show to remember. Powerful snapshots of Gothic literature united from his brainchild and vision.
Judge for yourself.
The Count, The Creator & Created and the Poet...
Their unwed brides.
The play was presented on Friday 16 March 2012 at The Garrison.
Then lights switched off and back on for a second time on côté cour & côté jardin once the set for Jane McKay's If You Go Down To The Woods was ready for its Première on the following night.
On côté jardin (left handside of the stage from the audience's viewpoint), a white door where mystery and misunderstandings would emerge... On côté cour (right handside of the stage), a black door, from which more confusion via strange comings & goings would flourish and unFURl.... Hungover Dan soon woke up to un-real moments! Clues of many kinds - furry gloves by Betty's French friend, Monique, red sauce by a sleazy photographer, Frank, a strange creature captured & printed by Graham, and even a parcel by a pothead, yes, the Deliveryman! - would ultimately reveal a farcical tale of a very furry kind. Betty's falling in love with Frank.
The Norwicks' kitchen will never be the same again!
Betty tries to lure us with her sudden escapades to the ponies... Igraine is young and naive... Janet, her friend, tries to keep Igraine's feet on earth. Monique cannot put her hands on Betty until she brings a rolled sheepskin...
Shock horror! Betty and Frank - two consenting adults - armed with a knife, tail-chase themselves like two children!
Directed by Jonathan Sinclair, If You Go Down To The Woods, kept us on our toes till its première, and received an award for Jonathan's debut as Director.
Congratulations to all involved in this madness - weekly Tuesday nights and Sunday afternoons are tattooed in my heart with sheer moments of giggles and laughters!
What a great remedy to winter blues!
On a more personal point, it was a formidable opportunity to rekindle my flame for theatre and be part of such a great adventure, the very first of many to come, as a member of Serpentine Drama Group.
Born To Be Wild!
Oh, and if you want a taste of it, just click here!