Back at The Mill At Sonning till Sunday taking over as John Smith in Ray Cooney's Caught in the Net. It's all been a bit hectic. The Director, Ron Aldridge, had to take over the part when they lost Robin Asquith at the start of the run, and now Ron's had to leave the production for an eye operation; I got back from a lovely, relaxing, post panto recharging holiday in Lanzarote last Thursday at 9.00pm, and midday Friday got a phone call asking if I could take over the role. I foolishly (?) said yes. Well, Sally at the Mill has been very good to me and my wife, Lynette, over the years and given us a lot of work, so, really, what else could I say? Anyway, I drove to Sonning on Saturday and watched the two shows and then went through the blocking with Ron onstage in the break between and then again on Sunday before the matinee. I drove home Sunday afternoon, spent Monday learning the script, then drove back to Sonning yesterday morning, to rehearse with the cast. I'm going through the show again this morning with the very lovely (and extremely patient) DSM, Lottie before a full Dress Rehearsal at 3.00 and the first show tonight at 8.15.
I must just say that although it's all a bit of a blur at the moment, it's been nowhere near as stressful as I thought, largely due to the wonderful cast and crew who are all incredibly supportive, extremely patient, and, well, just lovely really.
Luckily, I did know the show (but not the part). I played the other lead, Stanley, for Ray Cooney in his first rehearsed reading of the play, whenever that was, and then again in The Mill productionin 2005, which Ray directed. Strangely enough, we had three John Smiths in that production too, with Ray himself playing the part at one point!
So, tonight's the night. The first time I've ever had to learn a play and go on in five days.
Wish me luck!