by Helen Kelly
What a joyful day. It started with me heading out of the family home, leaving a naked child looking for his pants. (It’s hard to describe the feeling of freedom when you step out into the sunshine knowing that getting your child to school is your partner’s problem). A quick hop on the Cannabis Express (i.e. the 50) into town and into BOLDtext rehearsals in the Jewellery Quarter.
Our quick, engaging up-for-anything cast grabbed my bonkers piece and ran with it right round St Paul’s square and back, with Marcus Hendry as an anarchic 6 year-old crushing a couple of inner city handbag dogs out doing their morning business, along the way. Well that’s what it felt like. Zest, energy, humour, experimentation, all wrapped up in a parcel of exquisite professionalism overseen by the thoughtful direction of Ola Animashawun. I have to say, after the first rehearsal nerves fell away, the morning was an unadulterated pleasure. And – writer’s tip – I love going first because then you can settle down and focus on everyone else’s work having got yours out of the way.
In Tim’s tense but funny piece we watched Rochi Rampal’s inner teenager believably go on a 180 degree political turnaround. Who found this brilliant cast? Oh yeah, it was me. And what a pleasure to hear Sayan request a West Mids accent from Jan Summerfield and know she could get it whilst retaining the depth of the character she’d written.
We zipped through Nicola’s piece last in the running order. In Nic’s writing, there’s always a sense of clipped economy with every line doing the work of ten. Chomping quietly on my sushi, I thought about the convention of the police interview in drama. How the interrogator slowly lets out their line of inquiry like an angler, and how the form lent itself so well to Nicola’s disciplined storytelling. Another writer’s tip – when you’re sitting on the sidelines watching other’s work – sushi and bananas are the quiet snacks.
Back to reality in an hour’s time, when I’ll find out if my husband stepped up, or my son went commando to school today…