The first dress rehearsal on Wednesday evening went very well! We even joked that it had gone too well and unfortunately it had. On the second dress rehearsal of Alice in Wonderland (Thursday afternoon) Charlotte, who is one of the Alice’s, fell from the rope ladder and in doing so, fractured her ankle. Unfortunately, she had to go to the hospital and was unable to perform. The team found this very sad as she had been incredibly dedicated to the show and had been rehearsing for such a long length of time. However, the well-known phrase ‘the show must go on’ was used.
It was made sure that the other seven Alice’s became familiar with Charlotte’s lines and blocking to be able to step in ready for the preview that night. It was noted that everyone pulled together excellently given the circumstances and short time scale. We thought it best to hold the dress rehearsal there and allow everyone the time to prepare for the evening shows- especially the other Alice’s. Because we did not complete the second dress rehearsal, some of the younger children came up to me and expressed how worried they were for the preview. I reassured them that their first dress rehearsal had been excellent and the best thing they could do now was to relax, have some food and prepare themselves for later.
I was expecting to feel quite nervous for the preview, however I felt the contrary. I was really excited, which was strange as I was used to feeling quite apprehensive before a show. I have to note that a lot of this though was because the team around me was great and did not add any unnecessary stress to the production. Something that I found quite strange during the preview was our seating though. We remained in our positions from the technical rehearsal positions. During the technical rehearsal we all came down from the tech box and sat on long desks in the auditorium as this allowed us to communicate easier with the director and the actors on stage. By sitting here in the preview, I felt a little self-conscious that the audience would have to listen to me calling the show which I know could have been quite off-putting for them- regardless, the comments at the end of the show showed that they enjoyed it.
Everyone was on a real high after the preview, ready for the opening night (Friday). Things seemed to flow naturally and it felt like we had been working on the show for a lot longer than we actually had. It was an incredibly supportive and complimentary environment, which naturally was amazing to be a part of.
By Jessica Thackray