It starts tonight! The first night of The Miser! I’m not exactly nervous, all my lines are (just) installed in my head. But last night, our final rehearsal, I tipped over into the zone where I’m comfortable knowing my lines, and somehow that seemed to make the performance a little worse, as if there was no real risk to it and hence I stepped down a gear. Actually, there was (and still is) risk, as other members of the cast keep forgetting their lines or even forget to come on stage at the right time – it happened three times last night, and five times the night before, and each time I had to try and cover it up with some invention or by jumping ahead a few lines. In one case, somebody forgot to come on stage and for two minutes I improvised a slapstick chase around the sofa with one of the other characters. That taste of danger actually reinvigorated me, and I felt that the rest of the play got better from that point onwards.
One thing I am very happy about is my costume and makeup:
I’ve taken to strapping my chest up with a belt – a trick I learnt from watching Klaus Kinski in Aguirre, The Wrath of God (Aguirre, Der Zorn Gottes) which I watched for the third time on Sunday. I don’t quite have his crab-like walk worked out, but the belt does give me a nice little hunchback (while also constricting my lungs, which could be a bit of a problem given the amount of shouting and raving I have to do, but fortunately the drugs have killed off my asthma problem and my lungs are now back at full [very large] capacity).
Tonight I think I will go a little easier on the white pancake makeup. And I’m also going to take the cheese grater to my jacket (not shown in these shots) so that it looks just as raggedy as my trousers do already.
I can’t wait until Saturday night, when I can finally shave this bloody beard off.