Blood & Money debuts …

Well. There we are. Blood & Money got its first public airing last night. And it was goooood. Phew.

A while back we (as in Rascally Scoundrels, not the Royal ‘we’) applied to First In Three – a monthly event at Northern Stage that gives artists the chance to showcase new work or work-in-progress. In January we were told we’d been selected as one of five performances on the February bill. Yikes! No cast, still on early drafts. But, nothing like a performance in front of the paying public to get the ball rolling!

A casting call was put out. We were lucky enough to audition a great group of actors and it was a very tough choice. In the end we plumped for Anna Bolton, Jill Dellow and Mat Hobbins. We are having the same cast for both plays, so the trio will play two roles each.

Jump to a rainy Sunday in mid-February and we all get together at Live for our one rehearsal day.

We read both scripts in full, but the focus will be on the extracts we’ve selected for First In Three. With about 15 mins each, we’re doing from the beginning-ish of Roz’s and from the middle-ish of mine. The extract I have chosen is too short so am duly dispatched to a computer to work up the piece from an earlier point. I try not to panic and eat an egg sandwich.

Ably led by our director Degna, the day goes well and we all disperse feeling confident. Kind of. The nerves are never far off.

Jump to a rainy Wednesday (at least it didn’t snow) and we find ourselves at Northern Stage. Luckily for us, the group scheduled in before us haven’t turned up – so we get a whole hour in the space to rehearse on top of our allocated hour for tech rehearsal. This is a good sign, surely.

Word is it’s a sell out. I hoover up Anna’s chips (she didn’t want them) and try not to lapse in to a coma of terror. Actually, I am uncharacteristically calm. The cast are great, Degna’s done us proud, the event organiser as already told us how much she enjoyed the pieces in rehearsal.

But. I am never calm. I decide to worry about not being worried.

In the end it goes a dream. They split us up, so my Blood opens the night and Roz’s Money closes it. The audience seem happy. They laugh in the right places. Don’t laugh in the right places. They dutifully scribble on their feedback forms.

We presented the pieces script-in-hand, just to cement the fact that these are works-in-progress. The night gave food for thought, so I’ll squirrel the script away for a bit and (hopefully) emerge with a new and improved version in the not too distant future …

Thanks to Degna, the cast, Roz and the team at Northern Stage.

BELOW some [slightly blurry] photos taken during First In Three reheasals:

'Blood' - Susan (Jill Dellow) & Elle (Anna Bolton)

'Blood' - Susan (Jill Dellow) & Chris (Mat Hobbins)

'Blood' - Elle (Anna Bolton) sees the light!

'Blood' - Susan (Jill Dellow) & Elle (Anna Bolton)

[photos kindly taken by Roz on her swish-swoo BlackBerry cos we are both rubbish and forgot our cameras]