Monday, 17 November 2008

'Caught In The Net'

Ok, I met Charlotte ( Vicki Smith in the play ) at Heathrow departure lounge, we recognized each other from the recall and as it was our first time with the English Theatre of Hamburg we decided to stick together! We then met up with all the other cast members just before we boarded the plane ( Actors are usually easy to spot in a crowd, especially when James shouted at us from across the room "Are you for The English Theatre of Hamburg?" We knew we were going to be with a friendly, out going bunch!)
We had a short, and pleasant flight and was met at Hamburg Arrivals by almost everyone! It was a really nice touch to be met at the airport by the two Artistic Directors of the theatre, the stage manager, the theatre office staff, even the costume mistress was there! Everyone in the cast had been here before so their was immediate hugs and kisses all round. Charlotte and I felt very much out of the loop as we stood at the back like lemons and witnessed the very open European greetings all around. I couldn't stop thinking of the Heinken advert ( the one where he has to hug his boss and is looking for his motivation? ) Anyway, we were soon spotted and before we knew it we were all being hugged and kissed and was immediately welcomed into the company.
We were then taken to our flats and accommodation. I'm staying in a very warm, very spacious flat in Barmbek. It's a 10 minute walk from Barmbek tube station and from my flat to the theatre is about a 25 minute journey. For the last two weeks I have been living with Matt and Andrew who are the two leads in the current show Treats. We've had a great time living together but unfortunately, today they left for England after a very successful and praised run. I now have two more flat mates, who are from the cast of my show and things seem to be going well.
I'm playing the character of Gavin in a play by Ray Cooney called Caught In The Net. It's a comedy and I think a great play. It's about a guy called John who is married with a son, but on the other side of London he is married to someone else with a daughter. One day the son and daughter meet in a internet chatroom and decide to meet up. The play consists of John and his friend Stanly desperately trying to keep his children apart.
First rehearsal consisted of a simple read through, then Jeff giving us all a talk about Hamburg. We were given 100s of leaflets and handouts all about the transport system, events, museums, etc. Then we were all sent home to get some shopping and settle in.
Living in Hamburg is great, but to be fair I've not seen much of it yet. But some little differences are interesting. For example, you're only allowed to cross the road at the traffic lights when the man is green. If you get caught doing it any other way its a 100 euro on the spot fine. Also, the transport system is done by trust. No barriers, you just hop on and hop off as you please and people assume you've bought the correst ticket. Every now and again they do spot checks and if you have an incorrect ticket its a 150 Euro on the spot fine.
Rehearsals are going well, but I've never worked in this style of direction before. So I'm finding the whole thing a great learning curve and experience. Unfortunately a week into rehearsals the Grandfather character was sent home due to illness. A little concerning with only two weeks left until opening night but Philip flew in the next day and thankfully is an excellent actor.
So, we're now two weeks into rehearsals, we rehearse six days a week with Sundays off. We've got the show down I think, so spending this week running it in with opening night on Friday. It's going to be strange leaving the rehearsal room tomorrow and heading to the stage to tread the boards. But I will let you know how it goes....

(Posted from email by Dominic)

1 comment:

kimiko said...

I saw the play and i just wanted to say it was amazing!!!
And you were great¨! But i also really liked the actor playing the grandfather and the one playing stanley!!! they were hilarious hehe
I hope you like Hamburg and that you got to see it more :D