Mud, Sweat & Tears
When Sheree first messaged me back in cold winter months of January to ask if I’d be interested in returning to SAVVY Theatre for a summer project I was intrigued (well to be completely accurate I was tucked up in bed recovering from flu and intrigued).
Sheree explained that SAVVY would be celebrating its 10th Anniversary with an outdoor production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Beddington Park, and wondered if I’d be interested in returning to play Demetrius.
Well it was an easy decision to say I would be absolutely delighted to return to SAVVY, it had been a very long time since I’d last been in a SAVVY rehearsal room (back in the 2004!) and it’s been thrilling to see how much the company has grown since then. In my final year as a young adult member we’d also been rehearsing A Midsummer Night’s Dream – although back then I was playing Lysander, if my memory serves me right! We’d meet every Thursday evening after school in a room in Wallington Halls, SAVVY was a tiny little group held together by sticky tape, cups of tea and Sheree’s hard work.
Now SAVVY has grown into a big arts organisation, made up of a whole collection of welcoming groups – the Adult Company, the Young Company, Action Reply, Take-2. Who knows what group will be next! And this summer’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is bringing actors from each of these groups together for our outdoor extravaganza. Although some things haven’t changed – the whole thing is still held together by cups of tea and the hard work of Sheree, now joined by Alice (also the Helena to my Demetrius), Lewis, Michelle and many more.
So, you’d probably like to know a little more about Dream? Well the action all takes place in Beddington Park, as the characters take the audience on a journey “Over hill, over dale, Thorough bush, thorough brier, Over park, over pale, Thorough flood, thorough fire” – well okay the fire might not happen, but pretty much everything else is packed into our 90 minute promenade adventure through Fairyland.
We began rehearsals indoors in the Arc Theatre every Thursday evening, working on wringing everything out of Shakespeare’s text, finding the characters, relationships, humour and not to forget choreographing some exciting stage combat involving an unusual sort of weapon… no spoilers here!
When Winter had supposedly finished we began rehearsals outside in the park, however the weather wasn’t always very supportive (I think Titania and Oberon had been arguing). So rehearsals were rather muddy – with welly boots and warm jackets rather than fairy wings the order of the day. But just in time for show week it seems that the British Summer has now arrived, so our final few rehearsals in the park have required plenty of sun cream and cold drinks, mixed in with the occasional top of midge spray.
It’s time for me to head off for our final few rehearsals, “So, good night unto you all”. If you’re one of the lucky ones who snapped up tickets before they sold out I think you’re in for a treat – look forward to seeing you in Beddington Park!