Greg Aitken keeps us up to date…
6 September 2017
6pm opening night in the Chapter Theatre Cardiff. Everyman and the Drill Hall Theatre have reached a major objective, two years of planning and metaphorically we have reached our South Pole. This is only the second production of this wonderful play, Do Not Go Gentle.
Pleasant greetings between cast and crew reciprocated. We are all quite close. The production has enveloped us. We rehearse, perhaps optimistically, the curtain call. Ray, the director is tense. We are all tense. Even the verbose among us are subdued. Bookings are light. Hopefully a lot of walk ups. Actors rehearse lines. Interruptions. Beginners. Standing in the wings we listen to the opening scenes. I retire to the dressing room and listen to the play via the backstage speaker. A blistering pace by the Welsh actors. I cannot pick up any reaction from the modest audience. Its like listening to a radio play.
Geraint as Scott is powering. Rosy as Wilson is in good vocal form. Arnold returns to the dressing room with damp eyes from his beautiful scene with Cate. Interval. Polite applause from the few. Owen Trevor-Jones is lashing himself for dropping a line. It’s all right Owen says the actor who covered for him. I put my pen down to prepare for my walk on part.
The applause at the curtain call is genuine. Satisfied and relieved we take off our costumes. Ray enters the room. Glowing. Apparently we have done well. Off to the bar where I meet and chat with some of the audience.
First, Xenia and Graeme who are having their date night. Xenia, “the show is very emotional. The subject matter relates to people I know, my grandparents, in fact. The characters reveal a great deal of compassion even heroism. I believed in the portrayal by the actors”.
Graeme,” It’s a very good show. The play is easy to follow from the ice to the aged care facility. The lighting and staging is excellent. I liked that the play is from Scott’s perspective.”
Comments from other audience members.
“The chemistry on stage was amazing.”
“Great show, off to a superb start.”
“Poignant. Very thought provoking.”
“I was killing myself laughing.”