Sophia is Backstage! at Tempest of Lyme


Behind the scenes with the Tempest’s tech

I’ve always been a little in awe of a Master Chef; their ability to create a culinary masterpiece by pulling together a variety of ingredients leaves me spellbound; and that’s just how I felt when I went along to the technical rehearsal of The Tempest of Lyme.

But instead of Greg Wallace and his team, the Marine Theatre has Clemmie Reynolds who has drawn on the best of local talent including theatre patron and playwright Andrew Rattenbury and a host of singers, dancers, performers and musicians; each of them bringing a vital ingredient to the mix.

I arrived to see the voice coach employing some rather unusual techniques to ensure voices and diaphragms were working hard,

“Bear with me, it’s a bit spontaneous. Put your hands on your belly or better still on your neighbour’s belly; it’s going to pop like a balloon”

There was arm stretching, finger pointing and plenty of curious noises as the performers practiced ‘pop a cat a petal’ much to the bewilderment of Lyme’s Sunday evening strollers.

As I made my way into the theatre, the hive of activity continued. Costumes hanging in rows and makeup experiments as they tried to achieve the best mermaid look using blue eye shadow and netting.

Then there are some who go one step further like Fred Humphrey aka George Somers who has grown a beard for his character, although it hasn’t been easy, he tells me

“I can’t wait to shave it off next week!”

The music ensemble includes Brian Young on guitar,

“I was roped into playing by Wendy”

That’s Wendy Knee who is also playing alongside Marian Gumbrell and the three of them are part of local musical group Saxminster.

As I stand there with the chairs being set out and the stage lighting being synced, there’s a scene being enacted in the middle of the auditorium.

Sylvester Jordan announces,

“Without me there’d be no Shakespeare play, The Tempest”

And I think without Clemmie Reynolds there’d be no Tempest of Lyme!