Our new blogger, Becky, is one of the cast for the forthcoming show Black Comedy. This is Becky’s diary of what it has been like to join in the fun so far!
Lyme Regis Dramatic Society have performed many successful productions at The Marine Theatre since forming in 1950, entertaining locals and tourists alike. As an employee at the Lyme Regis Tourist Information Centre I help run the Marine Theatre’s Box Office, and time after time I have watched their ticket sales fly out of the window and receive rave reviews. I have also had the pleasure of observing their shows; a particular favourite of mine being the very enjoyable and hugely popular ‘The Wizard of Cobb.’
So when I was asked if I fancied reading for a role in the group’s adaptation of Peter Schaffer’s 1960’s farce Black Comedy, I jumped at the opportunity. I was thrilled and excited – if a little anxious! Acting on stage is something I’ve always admired and wanted to try, but other than a few drama lessons at school I have never acted before in my life!
I needn’t have worried as everyone has been extremely welcoming and supportive. When we first all read through the play together I was very nervous but I slowly relaxed with the encouragement of the rest of the group. Since August we have been meeting twice weekly and each rehearsal runs from 7.30pm for around two hours. The play is very funny and we spent several weeks unable to contain our laughter at certain lines during rehearsals! As the weeks have passed we’ve gone from learning lines to running through the entire play off the book, a process which has been thoroughly rewarding. If people are having trouble remembering lines or cues we repeat scenes until everyone’s comfortable with what they’re doing.
It’s exciting to rehearse on a stage where I’ve seen so many acts I love perform, and amazing seeing the society’s vision come to life when designing the set. I hadn’t realised quite how much energy goes into staging a play; getting the props just right, ensuring costumes are authentic yet comfortable, timing the sound, lighting and choreography off to a tee – so much thought goes into every moment.
I’ve found the hardest part of the experience has been learning how to project my voice and grasp my characters pronunciation and vocal tone. I play a ‘frightful’ young debutante named Carol Melkett and her voice is quite different from my own. I have had so much vocal support from everybody which has really helped to grow my confidence. Another challenging aspect is that most of the play is supposed to be acted in the dark, when it is in fact light on stage. Pretending not to be able to see anything is actually extremely difficult and it’s taken a lot of practice trying not to look at people when you’re talking to them. This has led to some funny rehearsal sessions in the pitch dark in order to get an accurate grasp of the situation!
I would encourage anyone in the local area who is interested in acting, whether you’re experienced or a first timer like me, to join Lyme Regis Dramatic Society. The group is friendly, professional and very approachable. You can tell that every member is there because they really enjoy themselves and it’s great to see each character grow more and more with every rehearsal. I know that when it comes to the opening night on November 11th I’ll be extremely nervous, but I am also excited to be performing with such a talented collection of people in my favourite little theatre by the sea.
Thanks Becky! Hopefully more thoughts about what it is like to be an actress on the historical Marine Theatre stage if she has a chance between rehearsals in this last few weeks. We are all really looking forward to the show – so ‘break a leg’ Becky and all cast and crew.