Tonight clicked. There’s an old theatre furphy about second night being less good than opening night … or at least they can leave the actor feeling a bit ‘off’ and thus the performance is less good. I’m here to tell you that our second night was better than the first. The acting ensemble are firing, and the crew are like a well-oiled machine. There continues to be a great joyousness about working on this production. Without sounding too precious, we really do care about what the play has to say and about the performance challenges we’ve set ourselves.
And tonight was the opening night I wish I’d had last night. I woke this morning with an almost totally recovered voice. God knows how and why this happened; all I know is that almost before my eyes opened this morning, I tried out my range … humming up and down a couple of times. It was back. So tonight with a renewed confidence I feel I hit my straps. I was no longer a beat behind myself, constantly monitoring everything to ensure my wobbly voice didn’t wreck the songs or the dialogue. Tonight it was in the moment time in the most satisfying way.
And the audience? It was a Friday night. I have had a theory about Friday night theatre audiences for years. They’re relaxed, the working week is over and there is the promise of an entire weekend ahead; they’re ready and willing to enjoy themselves. And they did tonight. Up there on stage you listen for audience reaction … laughter, other non-verbal indicators of approval … applause of course, but also rapt silence … this latter is one of the most powerful indicators of focussed attention. We had the lot tonight. God bless Fridays say I!