There is a phenomenon commonly known as the post-show blues that possibly all actors experience. It creeps over you as the final applause lingers in your mind and you face the daunting prospect of empty evening after empty evening and not a rehearsal in sight.
With the final performance of The Comedy of Errors past us, I managed to avoid the blues by cracking straight on with the next show and heading to Fuerteventura with fellow Comedy cast members Leigh and Amy for a girly week in the sun. Leigh and I even took our scripts for the next show to make a start on those lines. We’re both in Pride and Prejudice with One Off Productions at the Kings Theatre next March.
Having spent so much time together as a group, spending a week with the girls made it feel like the show wasn’t really over. We could go on pretending, each playing our beloved roles – Leigh as the fiery Adriana, Amy both a whisky-swigging nun and a crazy soothsayer, and me as a sultry courtesan.
Once back in Portsmouth Leigh and I were straight back into rehearsals for Pride and Prejudice. Naturally the step from prostitute to pious was a considerable leap, but the more I delved into Lizzie’s character, using both the script and the novel as my source material, the more I realised the two share several significant qualities.
Like the courtesan, Lizzie is strong-willed, clever, and a force to be reckoned with if she has her mind set on something. Of course, Shakespeare’s text didn’t set all of this out for the courtesan’s character, but the courtesan I created on stage exhibited these characteristics as she took on her own life off the page.
With a new script, a different setting and a cast made up of several familiar faces but mostly new friends, the exciting creative process can start all over again. Though I miss the courtesan and her swishy-hipped confidence, I’m falling head over heels for Lizzie all over again, just like I did the first time I read the novel. I can’t wait to step firmly into her shoes. And if I’m missing the Comedy cast too much, there’s always the pub just down the road for a natter over a rum and coke!