So, the inevitable day arrives when the final performance has taken place, the costumes are hung away and the props have been returned to their owners. The day after that final performance is always one of mixed feelings. Officially known as the ‘Post Show Blues’ a range of emotions tend to appear…sadness that it is all over, tiredness after all the hard work and nervous energy. All mingled with relief to actually be at home and see family. And for the Director, introspection as the time to take stock suddenly arrives.
The Scarlet Pimpernel has been a completely amazing experience and, for all the ‘post show blues’ that follow, was worth every minute. I have been lucky enough to work with a talented, passionate group of individuals. All of the team involved have, unfailingly, shared their time, energy and skills freely and with enthusiasm. They have worked together, provided support, tips to each other for characterisation, driven non-drivers home and generally been more than any director could ever have expected or hoped for.
And what of the performances? Audience reactions are starting to come in and they are overwhelming positive. I have discovered that our audiences are also engaged in the process and some have been kind enough to share some very useful comments about some of the things we could think about for the future as well as their favourite bits from the show. Apparently, things on sticks (including moustaches) are as funny to everyone else as they are me! There is something magic (and terrifying!) in sitting at the back and watching the team make the show come alive in front of an audience for the first time. As the show envelopes the audience, seeing how they interact with each other is always so interesting to experience.
I have been struggling to find one moment that was my favourite or one that sums up the experience but there are too many to pick from. The hosts interacting with the audience, the range of accents on display, Foley creating horses and creaking wooden ships, the incomprehensible Coachman perhaps or Renfield licking his spider. Maybe that final moment between the Scarlet Pimpernel and his wife as when they finally reconcile with each other having realised that they passionately love each other.
Or will be it be the very large drink I will be seen with at the after show party?!
I can’t thank the cast, crew and you, the audience, enough for coming along on this journey with us. It has been a blast. I just need to work out what my answer to the question “What is the next radio play going to be and will I direct it?” is.
Vicky Gatward-Warner, Director