There’s something about the light…

Last weekend we went to Cornwall to stay in a little cottage and forget about the world for a few days. I’d only been to Cornwall once before but had instantly fallen in love with it, and the place I returned to last week had all the mystical beauty I remembered from my visit the previous summer.

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One thing that particularly struck me, apart from the rugged beauty and charm, was the light. There’s something about the light in this little corner of the world that makes everything seem a little bit other-worldly, and bathes the fields and hills in a kind of mysticism. I could be getting lost in my over-active imagination here, but I’m sure many of you who have been down to this part of the country will know what I mean.

It was the perfect setting for a weekend of relaxation, the odd walk along the headland, and sitting curled up in a cosy armchair by the wood burner, going over my lines. You’d be surprised the places where an actor can steal the odd five minutes here and there to run through lines – the loo is a particular favourite, especially if you’re in for the long haul – but of course a setting that inspires you can give that little bit of extra motivation to plough on and remind you of the freedom you will feel once you’ve got the lines sorted.

With the light slanting in through the window and the fields reaching off into the distance, I felt the essence of the words coming from my mouth and I was lost for a special moment in the world of Pride and Prejudice and the magic of Jane Austen.

Freedom from the lines

Back in September I wrote about the read-through of a new play, Thursday’s Child. Written by local writer Clare Campbell-Collins, the play follows Anne, a young woman trying to rebuild her life through helping others, because for the moment, she just can’t help herself.

We’re about a third of the way into rehearsals and have just gone off-book for the first few scenes. Although this stage always terrifies many actors, it’s surprising how much you do already know once someone takes the script away. I can learn through repetition but I find learning through doing much more effective, so the fact that we’ve read through, marked and physically acted the first two scenes quite a few times has really helped. It’s like it’s etched into your memory a bit each time you do the scene.
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