I’m back from my London sojourn, and it ended up being a busy period. I attended the opening and closing nights of The Hallowe’en Sessions, but I also turned up at the theatre every evening to say hello to the people who supported the play. It was fantastic that so many friends and colleagues of the ensemble came for one of the performances.
The audience packed into the Leicester Square Theatre for the final night, and fired questions at the writers for the Q&A afterwards. We took the seats the actors had vacated for that bit, and considering what had gone on in the play it was somewhat unsettling to sit in those chairs. It was also the first time all the writers had assembled in the one place, so it was wonderful for us to be together and watch the entire piece as a group.
It’s an extraordinary, almost surreal, experience to hear the words you’ve written spoken by a actor who is inhabiting the character you imagined. Gina Abolins played Vivien Fox, the central character in the section I wrote (opposite Sarah Douglas as Dr. Myra Lark), entitled ‘The Night-Born Sisters’. It’s an emotionally-taxing part, which Gina played with raw, unswerving honesty.
As a souvenir of the production I carried home one of the two masks that appears in ‘The Night-Born Sisters’.
The eyes in the masks light up, which is important as they are in the shadows when they appear. It gives them a suitably-eerie entrance. I should also mention Daniel Brocklebank, one of the actors, who offered useful suggestions about the staging of the masks.
I will not forget this experience, and it’s whetted my appetite to work for theatre again, even though it brings with it a particular type of pressure that requires nerves of steel. Jocasta Upton, our stage manager, Josh Saco our producer, and director Sean Hogan were the ones dealing – admirably – with all the emergencies in this instance.
Thanks to the other actors Billy Clarke, Holly Lucas, Joshua Mayes-Cooper, and Grace Ker for their fine contributions to the production. My section was part of a whole, and could not have succeeded if the other parts were not staged and performed so well.