By Annabelle Terry
Friday 24th December 2021
“If we can do this, Cupid is no longer an archer; his glory shall be ours, for we are the only love gods.” – Don Pedro 2.1
What a difference a day makes.
We knew that things would likely change due to the pandemic but day by day it seems to be accelerating at rapid speed. And sadly, a day after writing my last blog, it had found its way into our cast. After another 2 positive cases amongst us, and with London continuing to rise in numbers, the unanimous decision was made to stay at home and work for the week on Zoom.
“How on earth can you possibly rehearse on Zoom?” I hear you cry… well… we were apprehensive too. But with sheer determination, we have successfully completed a week of virtual rehearsals. A few of us spent a lot of time on Zoom over the last few years (I was part of a digital theatre repertory season at the start of this year and performed live shows for 6 months + who can forget all the Zoom quizzes we all endured?) and so we are well versed in what you can and can’t achieve. For example: singing in unison is a no go due to connection speeds, however, sharing music and singing individually whilst muted for learning purposes proved invaluable. We had our music pro Ben join us on Zoom and share the wonderful original compositions he wrote for Hero’s “Epitaph” and Balthasar’s “Hey Nonny Nonny.” And after a quick refresher on how to use GarageBand, I also went away and put together the medley for the masked ball to send to everyone. I’m pretty sure they are being driven mad by the sound of my voice in 3 part harmony singing an acapella version of Tom Jones’ ‘It’s Not Unusual’ as we speak.
Whilst we sorely missed being in the room physically together, we all rose to the challenge – finding corners of our houses to stand in and play the scene as best we could around housemates/family/cats/dogs/deliveries. The resilience of people never fails to amaze me. Despite 2 of us battling Covid, we press on, finding solace in having this wonderful play to distract us for the hours we work. Of course those unwell take much needed rest-bite too. The comradery we have formed at such an early stage of the process – week 2! – is so comforting. Interestingly, what we have been through so far means we have bypassed any hesitancy and have already developed a shorthand with one another; ideas seem to bounce from one person to the next with ease and inspiration. And we know the text now on another level – linguistically, tonally, structurally – we have had time to really delve into it which will only aid our performances when we’re back together.
And it’s Christmas! It seems to have crept up on everyone this year but we are all looking forwards to some creature comforts and relaxation this weekend. Fingers crossed we can get back in the room after New Year, but it’s very much dependant on various factors. Onwards…
(The cast – minus Katherine – on Zoom with Ben)