08 June 2006
Have you ever opened two new shows on the same day? Have you ever had to say every other line in both of them? With sixteen costume changes in each show? Neither had I until Tuesday, when we opened The Terrible Tudors and The Vile Victorians on the same day! I now know what it must be like to cross the Grand Canyon on a tightrope. You can feel the wind up your trousers!!
Fortunately we were blessed with two fantastic audiences which got us off to a roaring start. The evening audience contained schools that were slightly less well behaved than usual - and I loved it! Rowdy audiences always present a wonderful challenge - and within a few minutes we had them under our spell. By the time we got to Henry VIII the expectant silence was palpable. It's why I'm often suspicious of actors who say "it was a bad audience". In my experience, there are few audiences who can't be turned round by a concentrated effort of attack. Peter O'Toole once described the stage as 'a battlefield'. He's surely right. And all rowdy inclinations were slaughtered on Tuesday night!
We couldn't be in a better city than York. It's quite beautiful in it's historic way. And a boat trip up the Ouze last night rounded off the day. It's fantastic to be with such a lovely and extremely funnny group of people. A great start to the tour.
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