What do you imagine when you think of stage shows? Probably lots of lights, smoke machines, elaborate sets, speedy costume changes…
In reality, theatre is nothing like that. So much of our time, as an actor, producer, stage manager – is spent waiting. Waiting for your scene. Waiting to make the next call. Waiting to strike (deconstruct) the set. Waiting. Waiting. WAITING. SO MUCH WAITING!
In the words of Take That, “just have a little patience”.
It can be really boring having to wait. It’d be easy to switch off and read a book, or watch a film or something. But you can’t: even though you’re waiting, you have to be waiting intently, listening in for the next cue or line. Often it’s a nervous waiting. The waiting is often more nerve-wracking than the actual thing you are waiting for.
This week I’ve been assistant-stage-managing a relatively small production of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead for the UEA Drama Society. It’s not a play I’ve been familiar with, but that quickly changes when you’re working on a production. It comes out to your ears. It’s surprisingly funny, though it does end rather bleakly…though I suppose that is a requisite for a play based on Hamlet!
And on that note…performances are tonight (Thursday) and tomorrow (Saturday), 7:30pm in the UEA Drama Studio. You can book tickets online here.