Last night, Mum and I hit the town to see the new play by the local amateur theatre group. The play was described as ‘An Hilarious and Side-Splitting Comedy’ (are you worried for us yet?). It was a school fundraiser and promised cheap champagne and a home-made slice for supper. What’s not to love?
When we arrived, we were taken aback to discover we were sitting in the front row. The middle of the front row. So close that we could have been extras in the production. So close that our view took in the best emoting that the actors’ nostrils had to offer. So close that we simply could not overlook The Wigs.
The Wigs had a life of their own. They sat atop heads in a most, er, magnificent way. They were Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth, Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra. We gave The Wigs ‘best supporting’ gongs at the end of the night.
It was a good night. Funny in ways both good and bad. I love watching people do something they love and people who are willing to don bad wigs and throw themselves into ‘An Hilarious and Side-Splitting Comedy’ obviously love it. Which made us love it, too, despite the desperate moments of silence onstage as someone tried to pluck a line out of the air. Despite the Totem-Pole School of Acting from whence some of the thespians had graduated.
Years ago, before I grew into stage fright, I was determined that I was going to be an actor. I ‘trod the boards’ (as we thespians like to say) in the very same theatre in which I sat last night. The highlight of my career occurred when I played Alice in Alice in Wonderland. Not sure how much acting I actually did, but I did memorise the whole play. At 11. Now I can’t remember the milk and have to write down a To Do list every day to get anything done.
My mum has tried to encourage me to get back into it. But amateur theatre requires commitment with a capital C. It takes a lot of rehearsal to create an hilarious and side-splitting comedy. Dedication, passion, time. All of that seems to go into my writing these days…which is probably for the best for future audiences at the local theatre.
I think I’ll stick to choir. At least there’s safety in numbers – and fewer lines to remember. Plus there’s the fact that I don’t have to carry off a wig…