Being Jez

Being Jez

At the end of Bouncers I said that I would be having a break from the next Players production; maybe two. I had another commitment and I wanted to concentrate on several time-consuming work-related things. Come auditions for Single Bride, and much to everyone’s surprise, I held fast to that decision. A month after rehearsals had been proceeding apace I stopped thinking about the show in the secure knowledge that all was fine. I had made a very small concession by taking-on lighting for the show. Actually, I believe I casually mentioned to Zoë that I might be interested in helping back stage. At some point shortly afterwards (perhaps five seconds) I found myself doing lights!

Then one fateful Saturday whilst enthusiastically shopping with my wife (read: being dragged around Kamppi), I received a call from Zoë informing me that a cast member had inconveniently dropped-out of the show due to something he considered more important than his commitment to the show, the other cast and the future audience. I won’t go into that more than to say that my opinion of people who do this isn’t very high and that death is usually the only justifiable reason for dropping-out of a principal role once committed. Anyhow, I was informed that the situation was grim and that the fabric of the universe was tearing and would collapse if I couldn’t step-in. That may not have been the exact wording but, being Zoë, it was almost certainly something equally eloquent :-p. As I am a Players committee member and true thespian (that’s a T, H and P), I could see the immense guilt lurking on the horizon should I refuse. So, four weeks into rehearsals and five weeks until opening night, I found myself being Jez. I should add that the bribe of Jelly Babies and Aventinus played no part in my decision, which was based entirely upon professionalism. The Jelly Babies have still not materialised…

Five weeks is something of a record for me. My previous best from read-through to opening night was six weeks for Arms and the Man. My first rehearsal was ‘books down’ for the rest of the cast; I felt the pressure. I’m pleased to report that everyone was very kind and patient with the noob! I vividly remember looking back through a 5am haze at an excellent ‘cast bonding’ evening after one rehearsal. I’m almost (but not entirely) positive that I got to know all the cast well that evening. I think. There was certainly a photo of Riikka trying vodka for the first time and none (that I know of) of me being a cock, so it must have been good!

Last Sunday, having returned from a three day bachelor’s ‘weekend’ in Northern Norway (character research, honestly), I surprised myself (and those who know me) by being off-book after just three weeks; one less than the rest of the cast!  B-) I wish it to be noted for future reference that it actually is possible for me to learn lines quickly sometimes...

As for Jez: he’s pretty laid-back about it all and looking forward to eating cakes, keeping a close eye on his whiskey and the hinted-at meeting with President Obama.

  • No comments found