Sunday, June 19, 2011

Let's Aim For Good

I am perched at the "breakfast bar", clattering about on my laptop and supervising the cooking. And when I say 'supervising the cooking' I of course mean 'whining hungrily and staring at the pans in case maybe I have Matilda-esque powers and can make the food cook faster'.

I love Sundays. Today Manchester has been sunny, and I have ventured as far as the bench outside our front door. I moved the little pot plants carefully and got comfortable with my notebook. I biro-scratched for twenty minutes, a freewrite for a character in the Life and Death of Eggs Collective for which we are now in full-time rehearsals. I willed the sun to tan my blue-white legs as I scribbled, squinting at the bright pages. After the freewrite I scoured what I had done, picking out the bits that weren't awful and transferring them onto another page. I tried to mould those bits into something coherent and, well, good. Good is my aim in these things, really. I haven't got the energy for excellent today. It is Sunday, after all.

I pulled words and phrases from the page like loose threads, trying to embroider them into a monologue. I instinctively try to use too much description, I think, or at least too much for a spoken monologue. I find it hard not to feel that flowery = clever, despite knowing it is not the case.

I will take what I have written into rehearsals and seek feedback, although that is still scary. Oh, wow, rehearsals have been cool. My thighs feel like they have been battered with a spiked metal club, as a result of Friday's physical stuff. "I want you to know" I told Ben yesterday "that every time I go up or down stairs I am being exceptionally brave."

"Because" I continued bravely "it really, really hurts."

On Tuesday we filmed the trailer. I arrived late as I had been in Bradford since stupid-o'clock, and I went into the theatre space via the wings, so I walked out onto the stage. It was like walking into a dreamworld, tall, be-costumed people floating about, everything dark but for a single spotlight onstage. I felt like I had wandered into Club Silencio in Mulholland Drive. It felt a million miles from trains and Bradford and hundreds of school children getting my name wrong. I had wanted to make myself wings out of some heavy, velvety material, preferably with sequins, so that when I opened my arms to play my cello the wings would undulate like treacle. However, I had very little time to source the material and make the wings. That is how I ended up being filmed wearing two halves of a shower curtain, one on each arm, scraping away on my cello, hair backcombed and face painted like a drag queen. I'm not totally sure that the shower curtain has quite the ethereal effect I was going for, especially given the whimsical cartoon water droplets it has all over it. Never mind.

The trailer will be out shortly. It's brilliant. The show is going to be brilliant. (I am a bit overwhelmed to be in it. Don't tell anyone.) The other evening, after rehearsal, I was cycling home and I just thought, oh, please, don't let me die now. Not when it's all getting so good.


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