Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Bard Walk just around the corner

Hello again!

I bet you thought I'd forgotten about you all  - either that or I was still walking somewhere and hadn't stopped. Not at all. As some of you know I have been a little occupied with two Open-Air shows this summer.

...and what a fabulous way to celebrate GSC's 10th Anniversary Summer! The Comedy of Errors in June seems like an age away, especially with the lovely weather we've been having recently.

I absolutely adore this play and thoroughly enjoyed revisiting it again with the likes of Simon Nock and Morgan Philpott returning to the company.

Playing with Simon is always the best fun - and I can tell you, rehearsals were exhausting - from laughing so much! By the way, if you were wondering if that was a real ice cream I was eating every night I can reveal it was actually mash potato! Mmmmm...not! Though it was a real Cadbury's Finger! So many silly moments far too numerous to speak of here.

Meanwhile, Much Ado was a glorious way to mark our 30th production. It was the 3rd time I'd played Benedick, and so although the lines came back fairly easily, it was still a nerve-wracking experience to begin with. However, I had a truly fabulous time revisiting this old friend and found much new stuff in him. This play is brilliantly written you can't help but enjoy yourself...especially when drinking a red wine/fizz/whiskey/brie cocktail...

For some reason with open-air, as the dusk falls an intimacy descends upon the venue and you experience a very different theatre experience. We had a really happy ensemble who brought something special every night to the show and despite the soaring temperatures of 32C, ploughed on with duffel coats and full on woollen RAF uniforms!

One moment in particular stands out...very serious scene, challenging Claudio to a duel, solemn exit...only to be preceded by a certain actor's rumbling stomach! Not loud enough for the audience to heat but thankfully my exit was upstage...with bitten lip and tears!!

...and whilst all THAT was happening I was also preparing the Muse of Fire Exhibition for Guildford House Gallery. Now up and running until 4 Sept, you can find out what goes into making a GSC show, see some costumes, props, puppets and all 30 posters. It's a very strange experience to view your life (well 10 years of it) through the prism of exhibits in a series of rooms. MoF brought back many memories and I really can't believe how far has GSC travelled in a decade. If you can catch it (yes it's FREE!), do take a look.

So to Saturday 13 August - not only my Mum's birthday, but of course the day I start the Bard-Walk. I'm going to write a new blog about the final preparations tomorrow, so I won't say too much now. 

My last training walk was on the Isle of Wight - a 14 mile trek to The Needles and back, via the Tennyson Monument - the weekend of Lord Alfred's birthday would you believe! Apparently he thought it "the height of luxury to sit in a hot bat and read about little birds"...personally I prefer a soak to Chopin .

What a fabulous place the Isle of Wight is! I'd never been before - and the weather could not have been more gorgeous. Full of surprises too: like Newport not being new at all, Freshwater Bay being salty and cows on a cliff! They didn't seem to mind...though that brown one was very close to the edge...

14 miles and all was well, but time I think for the proper thing...

I must say a huge thank to everyone who has helped me with this adventure - and I will be thanking many people very often over the next couple of weeks. Incredibly all my accommodation has been donated by kind and generous B&B owners and friends - without them I would be sleeping in hedge rows. See you tomorrow!

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