By Annabelle Terry
Sunday 9th Jan 2021
“Never came trouble to my house in the likeness of your Grace” – Leonato 1.1
Where to start!
I write this blog sitting in the garden of a little farmyard cottage in middle of the Gloucestershire countryside. I am also not alone… with me are the rest of the cast and all our suitcases ready for our flight to the USA in a week’s time. We have been bubbled in the middle of the country to avoid going back to London and risk the remainder of us contracting Covid. This came as a huge relief for all of us; having been apart for 2 weeks on Zoom we were itching to get back to putting the show together in real life, but were equally nervous about travelling around London during the current climate. So after a meeting with Scott, Deb, Jen and Jack, it was agreed that this was the most logical thing to do to prevent anymore disruption to rehearsal and illnesses within the cast.
So here we are! We have been here for a week and, I have to say, it is beautiful! The cottage itself is totally secluded apart from a neighbouring field of sheep. Once we had sorted logistics of divvying up bedrooms and getting groceries delivered, we truly hunkered down; now all negative from Covid and ready to crack on with the show.
Obviously the cottage doesn’t have the space that our beloved London rehearsal venue provided, but we have the next best thing – a kitchen diner! With a bit of Feng Shui we manouver the furniture around and have room to move and finally block the rest of the show. It has been so refreshing to be in the room together again. Seeing how the text has developed after having the time to individually marinade it is exciting, and this first week has been super productive. We have had Jen picking up anything we might need for the show and delivering them to our doorstep, as well as multiple online orders, and we now have pretty much all our costumes and props sorted.
Of course, living together is not the usual rehearsal set up and it has proven intense, but we have all adapted fast to one another’s needs and taken personal space. We have formed a little team; eating communally and going for walks to get some air and reminding ourselves that what we have overcome is immense.
We are such a tight knit ensemble now that the show will only benefit. We start rehearsal again tomorrow after a day off today and a big Sunday roast.