Sitting on the stairs from the foyer up to the theatre, between rehearsals, during rehearsals, for a breather - especially when we filled the walls with posters! The bright colour of the toilet walls. Lounging across those purple auditorium chairs like we owned the place, because we essentially did. Ownership, generally - to have been gifted and to earn the right to know every inch of the theatre space, to nap on the dressing room sofas, to finally have a key when you joined the committee… Late night pizzas on the stage floor during long rehearsals/tech. The dust. The black rubber flooring. Pacing the backstage area before going onstage, picking your way around other sets and prop pieces. Knowing to stay away from the dressing room with its really quite exposed toilet when Douggie (McMeekin) was doing his PSP (pre show poo). Once, an audience member had a fit, possibly epileptic, during a performance. I was speaking, and he began moaning - I carried on for a couple seconds before the sound escalated, and then I stopped and we all froze on stage whilst he was helped out, after which the action continued! None of us had any training to deal with anything like it, but everything (including the audience member!) was fine. Big booty. Those metal clamps in the workshop that held wood or whatever to the table while you cut it (obviously I wasn’t invited to do this very often). That time Bombay Bicycle Club came to play! The (blue?) hand railing outside the (purple) stage door - sitting on it, hanging off it, winding yourself through it while people smoked. Sitting under the lighting desk in the tech box as the first performance of Romeo and Juliet went up - I think I was worried the cast might see me and I’d be distracting, and maybe also I was scared about my first directorial performance?!
After Nottingham I did an MSc in Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh (the other student run theatre! I couldn’t stay away), followed by the postgraduate course at the Oxford School of Drama. I’m now an actor living between London and Chicago.
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