After a two day trialling my play at the Marlborough theatre I am delighted with how things went. It has resulted in lots of positive outcomes. From my perspective there was confirmation that the play works and is funny. There was lots of laughter on both nights. This made me feel vindicated and happy.
Then there were the actors. Both are 19. Mark Gandey gave a powerhouse performance. I had often seen him in lead roles and was aware that he has a great stage presence was a massive asset. Beth Symons however was the biggest revelation. Whenever I have seen her act she has had to make do with fairly uninspiring roles. I had always suspected that she had real comedy talent, but I had my expectations greatly exceeded: she is fantastic. Her timing is impeccable and she has a physical comedic presence that can make people laugh with just a change of expression. You can’t teach that kind of thing, and everyone was full of praise for her afterwards, and I felt really pleased I had created a platform where she could shine.
Our first half was a collection of short sketches we used a piece written by Mark Gandey. This is his first performed piece as a writer, and it was done excellently by Callum. I think Mark has real potential as a writer, which is good news as he is off to study comedy writing in the new academic year.
I am a control freak when it comes to my artistic projects, but this time I let go and by trusting the young cast they felt an empowered ownership which produced excellent results. Perhaps even better, the theatre manager talked to me afterwards about putting more work on there. So watch this space. Learnings all round then, and a real confidence boost for me.
Below: the programme.