A Tragic Love Adventure

So we’re well underway into Venice Preserved rehearsals…

Michael Grady-Hall in rehearsals for Venice Preserved photo by Helen Maybanks
Michael Grady-Hall in rehearsals for Venice Preserved photo by Helen Maybanks

It’s been a busy old time, not least because Mariam and I have had a little girl. Carys, born 4 weeks before the end of our time here in London. (She very graciously stuck to our deal, and let me learn my lines before she came). She’s gorgeous and we love her.

As an actor it’s been an invigorating and exciting experience but a surprisingly daunting one. Jaffier’s the biggest thing I’ve done (my usual job for the RSC is playing a medium supporting role and doing a big cover, still haven’t actually carried a literal spear yet, there’s time) and the Imposter Syndrome set in early in the table read. Sitting there reading the play, and realising I just keep on talking, I’m used to listening to actors I admire and respect tackling this bit of rehearsals and it’s weird hearing your own voice attempting Otway’s language.

It’s been such a pleasure to really try and use all those actor cliches, listening, think on the line, change the other actor, play! And of course great to use some of the wonderful verse stuff I first started using with Tamara Harvey and then learnt more about from the brilliant Alex Hassell. It may seem silly to say but when you’ve got such a lot of wonderful material it’s a pleasure and a privilege to get to do all that work on it.

It’s a lovely company, Jodie and Stephen (we’re the only members of the company solely in this production, everyone else is doing the double) are a joy to work with, playful and funny and no nonsense. The rest of the ensemble is filled with some RSC veterans (John Hodgkinson, Natalie Dew, Kevin N Golding, Carl Prekopp, Sarah Twomey and Toby Webster have all trod these boards before) and some fresh blood including the joy that is Les Dennis, his stories have had us howling and he is just such a brilliant actor and company member.

And then there’s Prasanna, it’s such fun to work with him again, we’ve known each other for 10 years but haven’t worked together in any capacity since both acting in Polly Findlay’s Theyestes at the Arcola a decade a go. He’s been with this play for nearly all that time and it is as much his work as Otway’s. It’s a brilliant cut and a rich dark world he’s created.

You can see us all having lots of fun working on this dark, tragic, love adventure (we really shouldn’t look this happy) here.

Come see it! I hope it’s going to be good.

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