Friday, 17 July 2009

I Wish You Love

So, they swanned, sang and screamed ... and did all three brilliantly.

For an hour and ten minutes Wendy Chalke and Clare Chandler held the stage in a way I couldn't have imagined from the rehearsals I attended.


Before the show, in fact before we left home I got my knickers into a right twist - first I thought we were going to be late, then I thought I had the wrong start time, then with those two worries rationalised, I focused on nobody showing up - nope, we had a lovely audience shuffle into Unity 1 - so then, I started to imagine how actually it was going to be total crap ...

I was too fidgety to start off with and am still not sure how the opening works in the first five or so minutes, but they'd created a lovely simple set of two tables, a mic and a lamppost.

The play covers a huge amount of material in the hour and ten minutes - two huge lives and twelve songs and a see-sawing relationshiop, but Wendy and Clare's dedication was astounding, their vocal range brilliant and the good fortune of their build: teeny and tall respectively meant they totally embodied the two women.

And what's more people laughed in all the right places.

Sure there were some lines that made me cringe that I wish I'd heard before and cut, but there were also lines I'd not fully recognised previously and the echoes resonated in a way I hadn't fully appreciated.

I went with two friends; one unreservedly loved it, laughed and cried her way through it; the other more reserved, enjoyed the lines, said it was 'clever' but also felt overwhelmed about the amount of material there was. Fair point. But the brief had been to portray their lives. And their lives were rollercoasters.

As we left the auditorium, I heard other audience members: "that was the best thing you've taken me to" one women was saying to her companion; "god how moving" the woman in front.

Suzy, the director, is pretty confident we'll get more gigs elsewhere, and I think she could be right - it's a marketable piece. Wow! I might have actually written something with general appeal, that my mother would enjoy, or at the very lest understand. I might even invite her to the next performance of it. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing it again, and watching the two grow further into their parts.

So, for a first attempt at playwriting, I'm pretty pleased. And am looking forward to the next crack. Gambolling Arena have already asked if I'm interested in writing another piece for them. I've said yes.

1 comment:

Jane E said...

Hooray! Hooray! Keep us posted on further chances to see this....it sounds great!