So we are upstairs and don’t have enough doors for our entrances and exits, and have to crunch against walls and pretend we aren’t there. It’s hot and it’s raining, and there isn’t enough light for photographs; good job I took loads last time.
This is one of those rehearsals where there is a lot of sitting about waiting, watching other people do stuff.
Like: ‘fix’ the musical chairs so people know who loses in each round, but with only half the people needed actually there. This produces a surreal game with people flouncing away from empty chairs… Harry requests understudies as there have to be the right number of people hurtling round and round.
Like: play pass the parcel (I said, did I not, that it would be pass the parcel next? Prescient or what?) this is also a virtual game, with no parcel, and no children.
Like: watching Lensky’s true character be exposed, as Harry throws Olga (Ollie, Again!) to the floor;
for by nature, she’s a devil who’ll cheat and betray.
All the poor girl does is play musical chairs. That small act of petulant violence really explains why he won’t back down when Onegin tries to talk him out of the argument (I never meant to embarrass you); it really isn’t all Onegin’s fault for teasing him and going too far.
We work our way through the second Act with Nick once more singing all the principle’s parts while Ollie and Harry lip-sync and in particular his rendition of M. Triquet’s petite chanson is delicious, he has a lovely voice and I don’t know where he gets his energy.
In the break, Briony starts to hand out hired costumes. (Carrie, I know you are reading this in France; she’s got yours!)
We move on to the quarrel, for which most of our lines are ‘muttered’ to each other from behind hands (or fans, for some) until the moment Lensky goes for it and denounces Onegin publicly (You seducer).
Suzanne is delighted to be asked to knock over a chair in ‘shock’, and does so with obvious enthusiasm, and various Basses leap in to separate the warring ex-friends while we all roar out
Otherwise there’ll surely be a scandal, a scandal
as though not a bit unhappy with the idea. What it is to have ‘friends’ and ‘neighbours’.
Harry lets us Tenors and Basses go early, so he can work on the Cherry-pickers song, with the Sopranos and Altos.
It sounded lovely floating down the stairs after us.
Copyright Cherry Potts 2011