20 July 2010

Parlour Song is choice.

By Gavin Rutherford

It's a glorious way to make a buck, this acting thing. Walking towards Circa on a sunny, if cold, winters morning along the waterfront thinking how privileged and lucky I am to be able to work in this environment. Circa is one of the most luxuriously positioned theatres in the country. I help myself to a very glamourous instant coffee out of the co-op box in the kitchen after pushing myself through the rowdy loud Great Gatsby cast who have been working hard singing and dancing since nine (we start rehearsing at ten 'cause we work gentleman's hours), and stand out on the deck with my cast mates watching early morning kayakers. After morning talks (translated as gossip and a catch up) we go over some notes in the rehearsal room while we wait for the kids show audience downstairs to arrive for the Improvisors kids show Gnome on the Roam. We have to delay the start of the rehearsal run because apparently the kids have been frightened by our banging and crashing overhead. Take a deep breath and into Parlour Song. "It started small" says Dale played by Chris Brougham. Ned (me) is tense but excited, then nervous and desperate, then confused and scared, then exhausted and breakable. I indulge in being the audience, watching Heather O'Carroll and Chris doing the scenes when I am not on, and am frequently reproached by Chris for laughing too loudly at their comedy. It's that delicate time when we are all still finding it knife edge funny. The hour and a half flies by while we are acting but I feel it at the end of the run. Rubbing my neck after the mental and physical exertion the fantastic script demands. After some discussion about costumes or set elements it is lunch (sometimes I am lucky enough to meet up with Gina and our two girls) and then back for notes on the run and working a few scenes that need detailing. The ending is a tricky one because the style of the play changes and we are all looking forward to getting downstairs into the theatre to see what the lights, sound and audio visual elements will add. At the end of today I am buzzing. I am overexcited about this play and maybe a little overtired so I start to talk about how much fun I am having and how much I am enjoying working with everyone. Jen Lal (our lighting designer) makes it clear to me that I am talking too much and that 'love ins' should be saved for after a few beers on opening night. So if you are there on opening night and I have had a few beers, watch out 'cause, if all goes well, I might be boring.

Parlour Song is choice. I'm loving it. Sue Wilson (the director) has created a rehearsal space that is open and collaborative and supportive. It means we can create and discuss openly and thoroughly and try things on the floor. And it shows. I hope you enjoy the end result of a great creative team and marvellous theatrical environment. I'm a lucky man, doing this acting thing. I try and make sure I never take it for granted. It is a privilege.

Parlour Song opens in Circa Two on 24 July and runs until 21 August. To book your tickets, call the Circa Box Office at 801-7992 or visit www.circa.co.nz.

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