Of Butterflies and giggling snails

lend me a tenor cast smRehearsals with the Dicker Players for our production of Lend Me A Tenor are well underway and we are at the ‘scripts down’ phase. This means we can concentrate more on actual acting and movements and we are having a ball! I play Maria, the  jealous Italian wife of the famous tenor, Tito Merelli. This gives me the chance to shout at someone alot, stride around, push people out of the way and make lots of expansive hand gestures.

I’m happy being on stage as a character while I’m hidden inside giggling to myself and if I can make people laugh that’s a huge bonus. Like a squidgey little snail, a bit of a sponge, I soak up ideas, images and sounds from around me and project them onto my shell. Sometimes little bits of the real me poke out and and can be seen, but more often than not I come out in disguise.

Having been a member of the Dicker Players for a long time now, probably about 15 years, I’ve been involved in lots of comedy cabarets and 3 plays: Comic Potential, Look No Hans and An Evening with Gary Linekar. The group write a lot of our own scripts for the cabaret and I have written and adapted quite a few. Laughter really is a healer – when you’re feeling low, a good laugh can lift you. And it’s infectious. Like a yawn, if you see someone smiling, or hear a particular laugh, you can’t help just a little twitch of the corner of the mouth. A lightening of the mood – that’s all it can take to create a positive, or even stop a negative, chain of events. The Butterfly effect. [Wikepedia: In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependency on initial conditions in which a small change at one place in a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state. The name of the effect, coined by Edward Lorenz, is derived from the theoretical example of a hurricane’s formation being contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly had flapped its wings several weeks earlier.]

Our stage sets have always been quite minimal but for Lend Me A Tenor, Clive is building an elaborate set and created a mock up to show us. Seeing this took me back to images of my childhood of playing with dolls houses and making my own scenery for plays featuring the mismatched Cindy, Action Man, teddies, plastic horses, parisian can can dancer and various small china Wade animals. Stage sets, lighting, layers – all of this is linking in nicely with my vision of new art work. I love the laser cut out books and pictures, forests of silhouettes of trees, flocks of birds, shoals of fish. Now, do I just create the layers of ‘stage sets’ or do I populate them with characters? I’ve been taking my camera to Jim’s gigs lately and taking pictures of the dancers – there you have the stage, the lighting and the characters. Now I just need to practice my figures. Perhaps Cindy and the Wade animals…

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One response to “Of Butterflies and giggling snails

  1. Pingback: Finding Creative Balance | Art - Josie Tipler

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