First Night – And They’re Off!

Tonight’s Anthem: Take The Long Way Home by Supertramp.

Friends in Audience: 0

Time to let the punters see what we’ve been doing for the last couple of months. Time to let them in. Take their money, sell them their programme and their drink, and sit them down. There was a respectable number of them, too, 30ish of them, which spread out correctly can look pretty good. Their reactions were, on the whole, also pretty good. This was helped by the director being in the audience, goading the audience on with a pointed stick, making them bleat, bray and cackle on demand. There were a few silent laughs, which is fine for the people on stage, because you can see them enjoying it. But for those in the bowels of the theatre, in the dressing room, whose only connection with the stage is the intercom, it sounds like it’s gone flat.

I started the evening in fine form, in a horrific mood. Apologies to anyone I left bleeding in the gutter. But the mood lifted as the traditional buzz took hold.

So. My character’s victim. As I lunged out from behind my curtain (mercifully free of ladders) I realised there was only one person in the right seat to be favoured with my charms. Debs The Director’s Mum. And a very nice – elderly – lady she is. I think she enjoyed it, but it did add an interesting dimension to Moth’s part. And indeed, his past.

“F*ckin’ ‘ell, spiteful sod.”, was the reaction to Jethro’s Mighty Blow (JMB). Not the round of applause the scene deserves, but better than nothing, or ‘nowt’ in the play’s parlance.

Talking of which, I think we’re doing really well with the accent side of things. Most people, myself included, seem to have pinned their accent down somewhere in Yorkshire, or Lancashire. There are some wandering to Wales, and people pop to Pakistan periodically.

The first night went really well, all told. I’m probably breaking some ancient theatrical superstition by saying so, but, well, bollocks to it.

After my Act II cameos as ‘Frank’ (not the one from Blue Velvet) and as ‘rebuffed late night drinker’ (the same man? possibly) I dash back round to change back into my Act I costume for the curtain call. Then we’re waiting backstage for our bow. The last climactic scenes are unfolding on stage.

Finally comes the shouted backstage whisper, “Go!”,. We troop out. It’s then I realise my flies are undone. I have to be very careful when I bow, and stand with my hands conveniently placed. Afterwards, I was assured, “The audience didn’t notice a thing,”.

That’s what I’m afraid of.