The buzzing in my ears is dying down. Finally. My two lovely aunts have just left from inspecting my Ferry House room (very much like larger student digs – though a lot quieter). They made their respective ways all the way from London and Norwich just to see me, so they deserve a backstage tour. My mother came down the other week, also very proud, and bought me new bedding. I was way more excited about that than about press night, but people say I am a strange girl.
Everyone, from the dressers to the actors says: “Ohhh, Ferry House, the party house!”, with a wicked twinkle in their eye, as if they knew something we newbies didn’t, but so far it’s been a haven of tranquility to which I gratefully escape in between calls. As You Like It rehearsals have started back today and with them comes the desperate need for discipline: packed lunches. (We use bread in the show, and I take it home every night because where I come from, wasting bread is a sin. Maybe I’ll have marmite on toast, or a cheese sandwich? The options are endless… In fact I’m nibblng it as I write, but the freezer is full of it and there is only so much bread one woman can stomach. I suppose I could share it with the Stratford swans?)
Anyway, a lot of understudy lines to learn as well as my Audrey to remember, and any number of dances and Laura Marling songs. She was in rehearsals today, flown in especially from America (at least that’s what I tell myself) and we all hoped she wasn‘t really listening when we did our first musical recap after three weeks. Hamlet press night was last night and some of us were more battered than others, shall we say. But Maria (Aberg) and Ayse (Taskiran) were bouncing about and soon had us whirling around in a wedding dance at ten in the morning. No rest for the wicked, and that is certainly true at the RSC. But somehow – is it the bread or the adrenaline? – I seem to have loads of energy still. Let’s hope it lasts the next eight months.
The RSC runs a £5 ticket scheme for 16 – 25 year olds. Find out more here.
Image: Keith Pattison