Anything that brings something fresh to the text is welcome, and being let onto the stage did just that during the tech. I’ve mentioned before how we were lucky enough to rehearse on the broken up plane parts during rehearsals, but having the real set to rehearse on was a different level of immersion. It was great to see the fire actually start to catch, having sand underfoot, and smoke billowing across the stage during the hunt scenes. That being said, the pace of the technical syncing made the narrative a bit choppy; it was challenging for us to have a solid journey while stopping and starting. I also landed badly on my ankle halfway through the first day of tech, so that was quite frustrating not being able to walk it all through.
The nerves were palpable pre-show; it was all frantic hugs and pacing back and forth for about an hour back stage. You could hear the audience coming in over the tannoy – that part was the most nerve-wracking for me. There was a lot of talking quickly and supportively to everyone, going over lines, thinking about where your character’s been. Once the lights were on and the hush settled I think we found an eye in the storm.
It is strangely hard to have an opinion on the first show, or even conjure the memory, because I was just in auto-pilot so it just flashed by. I think the audience liked it, hopefully, I can barely remember. They clapped anyway, I’m sure that’s a good sign. It is tense to have instantaneous opinion on the work, knowing what works and what doesn’t. Having an audience so vividly THERE is both terrifying and exhilarating.