Amy Drake

Amy Returns

Just when you thought it was safe to return to the theatres… Amy returns to the 24:7 festival for a second helping! Apologies, but that’s that way the cookie crumbles (and falls into my awaiting open mouth). Yes, the grape vine had it right – I’m one lucky lass and have been cast as Lisa in We Are The Multitude, premiering at John Thaw Theatre 24-26th July, followed by two further performances at the Lantern in Liverpool – that’s right, this time we cross the border! Cue epic Lord of the Rings homage…

I’ll try to keep these blogs short and sweet/sour (depending on my acid reflux), mainly as I don’t want to reveal too much about the show – but also because I worry I only have a minute sense of self-restraint left when it comes to this blogging business. Day one – here’s a funny albeit tasteless joke I made in rehearsals… Day nine – here’s where my bowel habits are at today… It’s a slippery slope, you see?

Anywho, just a quick run down of where we’re at production-wise… should keep you satiated – you fiends! We’ve confirmed our production team, which we’re all giddy and suitably pant-wettingly excited about; written by the luminous Laura Harper, directed by award-winning Liz Stevenson, assistant directed by the fantastic Flora Anderson, produced by our sizzling Shuan Wykes (Foot in the Door trainee), designed by the incredible Katie Scott (do you know how hard it is to illiterate the letter ‘k’?!) and featuring the talent of Andy Blake and unbridled humour of… well, me. Now the real fun begins…

No really, the first meeting was delightful! Which was possibly helped along by the fact that I brought enough of Tesco’s finest snacks to feed the 5000 and Liz provided pizzas and ample liquid refreshments in the way of wine, beer and maybe a bit of the hard H20… It’s true what they say, well-fed actors are happy actors! Important rehearsal note one. So after the preliminaries were exchanged, wine uncorked and chairs assembled, we cruised through our first read-through. There’s nothing quite like the excitement of a first read-through; this was the first time we had all met together, our Team Multitude, and the first time Andy and I had read opposite each other – so it was refreshing and rewarding to see how our energies played off one another. It’s also the first time we’ve all heard the script in its entirety read aloud – we each explored certain excerpts from the script at the auditions, but exploring the characters journey throughout the entire play is a different beast all together. It was really insightful; from a practical perspective, it gives us a sense of running time and how certain technicalities can be achieved but another aspect is seeing what lines do or don’t ring true, what bits of character need developing – what does/doesn’t work. It’s one of the few read-throughs I’ve ever done where I’ve been wet through with sweat at the end! Woah betide the audience – maybe we should have a Shamu warning sign… the first 5 rows WILL get wet!

Once we’d digested both food and text, we did a bit of housekeeping… no I didn’t help wash up – we finalised our rehearsal schedule, and everyone got dished out their homework for the week. For Shuan, he’ll be working on developing the social media/marketing, Laura and Liz will be finalising some finer details with the script itself – working through a few tweaks and plotting the objectives through the story… as for Andy and I (the dream team Blake and Drake as I shall now refer us…) we have been asked to complete some character research, to be discussed in individual meetings with Liz at the end of the week. Finally, all those years of hard swotting come to good use! We’ve been asked to collate a list of; what our character says about ourself & other characters, what other characters say about us and indisputable facts. Any drama school graduates will be thinking… YES FINALLY – a use for Stanislavski’s Lists!!! And sadly enough, that was my first thought too… It’s something I usually do for my actor’s working notebook for whatever project I work on (a folder with character findings, research, script notes etc) – but actually being openly invited not only to DO it, but also share my findings…?! Well, my geek specks just skipped a beat!

Our evening drew to a close and all departed… well, us ladies perhaps indulging in another glass of wine (those Minstrels did need polishing off too)! Blake and Drake (<< that’s me in case you forgot) will be meeting Liz to explore the findings of our characters before a second read-through and table work on Sunday evening. I can see a filthy weekend habit emerging… well I can think of worse vices! Until then – g’night, g’bless!