KATE COLLINS updates us on her rehearsals for 'Two'
If you’ve only got one partner to rely on for over an hour on stage, you need to trust each other, so it helps to have a good friendship off-stage and a willingness to push each other.
We’re now days away from the first performance of Two and things have been hotting up. And by "hotting up", I mean Stanley and I have flirtatiously gyrated to You Sexy Thing by Hot Chocolate together (and if that’s not an advert for the show, I don’t know what is).
Aggressive hip movements aside, Two has some tricky elements to attack in rehearsal. One of the big issues of the play is character differentiation. We’ve been working to strike a balance between the non-naturalism that inevitably comes with multi-role, and conveying believable and engaging characters. Geraint and Alistair have been great at getting us to work with physicality and voice, sometimes pulling us back (“You’re doing ‘old’ at around 100%. Can we tone it down to like, 75?”), and always getting us to explore the lives of the characters beyond the script. Out of the seven people I get to be in this show, it would be tough to pick a favourite. I love the Landlady for her wit, Alice for her sweetness and mischief, and Maudie because she reminds me of being in Concert Square in Liverpool on a Saturday night.
There have been a few two-handers on in Cambridge this term, and working on Two has made me realise their appeal. If you’ve only got one partner to rely on for over an hour on stage, you need to trust each other, so it helps to have a good friendship off-stage and a willingness to push each other. Stanley (he’s not listening, is he?) is a very talented actor, and when you’re playing opposite someone so good, it forces you to up your game. Our lovely director has also been keen to introduce some friendly competition between us, (I’ve recently lost my lead on the ‘saying-Geraint’s-favourite-tongue-twister-challenge,’ but I’m not bitter) and hopefully this will feed into the sparring matches you’ll see between us on stage.
There have been times in rehearsal when I’ve nearly cried with laughter, and times when we’ve been forced to ask difficult questions to understand moments of staggering pathos. The variety of tones we’ll get through in this play is a good-kind-of-mental, and out of the fourteen characters you’ll meet, I’m confident that each audience member will see at least a little something they’ll recognise.