Tasha’s 3p Opera Blog 1 – “…These may seem like scary stories, but don’t have nightmares or be upset…!” (Mack the Knife)
Hi! So I’m Natasha Lewis and if any of you followed the cast blog from the ‘Our House UK Tour’ you will be familiar with my jovial ramblings… but if you didn’t, I am delighted to be documenting the upcoming shenanigans of ‘The Threepenny Opera’ Tour and hope that I can give you a little something to whet your appetites in preparation for our rumbustious new show. It’s already been a glorious roller coaster of grit and hilarity and I am sure that this is a trait that can only continue to thrive!!
We are now about to enter technical rehearsals but let me cast my mind back to four weeks ago… was the drizzly Monday morning of the 20th January 2014 when something amazing began… the entire ‘Threepenny Opera’ mob congregated for the first time at the Graeae HQ in Shoreditch, London for our initial ‘meet and greet’. Faces from all five fabulous producing forces (Graeae, Nottingham Playhouse, New Wolsey Ipswich, Birmingham Rep and West Yorkshire Playhouse) came together with our 18 strong cast, access and creative teams to say hello and welcome, drink coffee and play a cheeky game of ‘Name Speed Dating’ (courtesy of one Jenny Sealey – co director) before embarking on a primary read through of the show.
With a collection of cellos, trumpets, accordions, pianos, clarinets, flutes, piccolos, a guitar, banjo, trombone, bassoon, double bass, an extensive percussion set up and an entire extended family of saxophones plus a plethora of excited faces in the room, the atmosphere was nothing short of electric! So it was without further ado that we all jumped into our new world of gangsters, swindlers and ladies of the night to piece together our version of Brecht and Weill’s classic piece and believe me there were some sights to behold…no spoilers but I will say that we have discovered a new dimension to silver service dining, created a sensual atmosphere through the unlikely sources of the timpani and double bass and witnessed Milton Lopes (Macheath) learn the complex art of ‘flick knife management’ which has been a sheer joy!
So a few weeks on we are now about to embark on the epic week of technical rehearsals which will end with our first couple of previews…but it has not been without our fair share of fun and frolics along the way…..music has been played, lines have been said, dancing has occurred and laughter has been in abundance! I have never experienced a production where so many skills are being exercised on the stage at any one time with beautiful and witty Sign Language, Captions, Audio Description plus a bag full of fantastic acting, vocal and instrumental performances to boot….this is going to be one hell of a journey!
A couple of social events have already occurred in the form of a delightful evening at the Nottingham Playhouse to see ‘My Judy Garland Life’, a company curry, and a trip to the Nottingham Royal Mail Depot via Edinburgh (or so it felt!!) courtesy of our tour MD Joey Hickman! We have also enjoyed a couple of company birthdays…Pickles (Matt of the Mint) and Barry (John Kelly’s PA) which have resulted in much cake being consumed and maybe a couple of cheerful beverages…
All in all, it has been a cracking few weeks and I look forward to filling you in on the tour goss from this week forth! Join me next week for all the chat from our tech week and opening night……til then, bye! (PS….Joey….where’s your accordion??!!
Natasha Lewis…aka…Lucy Brown.