For me, it was more than just putting on a production that was cancelled in 2020. For me, it was a lifeline, a way out of the quagmire of covid and a way of reconnecting with friends in a safe, controlled environment.
I was so grateful to be cast as Hermia. A dream role for me, as she goes through so many different emotions throughout the play. She starts off by being incredibly brave, standing up to her father, even though refusing to marry his choice of suitor could result in her death. Then she continues on a rollercoaster of drama, from head over heels in love, to mildly irritated, to excitement, then fear as she wakes up alone. Then the fun really kicks off, as act 3 scene 2 sees her reach new levels of anger, confusion and hurt.
Working with Max, Alison and Katie was fun from start to finish. But boy, did I have to up my game, as the speed with which they learned their lines was phenomenal!
We laughed a lot, as did Helen and Clare. To say we were grateful to be there sounds a bit corny, but we really were! Even though Max and I suffered from terrible hay fever, we never minded laying on the grass “asleep” as the action continued around us. When still on script, it got to the point where my eyes were watering so much, I could barely read my lines, so learning them early definitely had its advantages, that and the fact we could concentrate on the moves.
I can remember one particular rehearsal, where I was sitting at the table opposite Alison and some white bits landed on the table. It’s snowing, I whispered. Surely not, it must be blossom, but on touching it, it was indeed snow!! We were chuffed, as we were the first group to rehearse in the snow. We’d all been rained on and shivered on the coldest days, but we embraced our snowy rehearsal and wore it like a badge of honour, telling all who’d listen how dedicated we were.
In all truthfulness, this production helped me through the toughest of times and I feel we all bonded as a cast in a way that had never happened before. Whether grinning at each other on zoom, with the obligatory waving when we signed off, or meeting up in either of the two rehearsal gardens, it’s an experience that I’ll never forget and will always look back on with incredible fondness.