Week 48/2023: Back to the theatre

It’s December already

Week of 27 November 2023
A green background with gold numbers 2 and 5 on red tiles, and the words "days til xmas"
December is here. Crank up the Christmas music!

Back to the theatre

Way back August (it seems so long ago now), I wrote about my acting class and our performance in Hobart’s One Fest.

It was a wonderful experience to work on a play and perform it in an actual theatre in front of an actual audience.

But it was all over so quickly!

Months of preparation, and what seemed like hours waiting backstage to perform, and then it was done in less than 15 minutes.

I headed back to class after the performance, eager to find out what would be next.

Melodrama, it turns out!

Melodrama is something I associate with cheesy piano music and damsels in distress tied to train tracks, while venomous villains, supported by their snivelling sidekicks, stand to the side rubbing their hands in animated anticipation of the impending doom of the helpless heroine.

Or else they try to marry her.

A man dressed in black sneers at a woman dressed in red, with a crouching shady character in black flourishes behind her)
Vile Villiers and his scheming sidekick, Quincy, terrorising the heroine, Lucy (Photo by Callum)

Cue lots of boo-ing, and hurrah-ing from the audience, as the intrepid hero swoops in to save the day.

Good must ALWAYS overcome evil in these stories.

Our work this term was to rehearse a short melodrama, which was part of the O’Grady Drama curriculum. It’s called The Triumph of Trevor Truelove, aka Vile Villiers Vanquished. I’d seen this a few years earlier when Kramstable’s youth class performed it in one of their showcases.

The script had to be cut back and modified because we only had a cast of five, compared to the ten roles in the original cast. That meant it was a bit shorter than the performance Kramstable had been in.

It was fun rehearsing and blocking the play, and experimenting with these larger-than-life characters.

The plan was, if we wanted, to perform it a couple of times across the end of year student performance showcase weekend. Everyone said they were keen, so it was locked in.

Performance weekend

Performance weekend is a massive undertaking for Chris and Kath at O’Grady, having to organise students from all their classes across five showtimes. As well as performing their own play at each show, Kramstable’s On Cue class helps out with props, costumes, make-up, front of house, and general kidwrangling.

We performed our play on Friday night and Saturday afternoon and it was a lot of fun! It was a different experience to performing at the Playhouse in One Fest. The audience was closer (and a lot younger) and got into the spirit with the boos and cheers they were prompted with.

A woman in a red top and black and red floral dress, with a garland of flowers in her hair, holding her arms out in despair
We’re ruined! (Photo by Callum)

It was great to rehearse in the space before our first show, and to do a second show to fix the bits I messed up the first time. (I messed up different bits the second time!) It’s been my experience seeing performances more than once that they get better with multiple shows, and I appreciated the opportunity to do it again.

I’ve really enjoyed being part of the class this year and have learned lot. If you’d told me this time last year I’d have acted in two plays this year, I wouldn’t have believed it. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time but never thought I would. I’ve loved working with my classmates and I hope we get the chance to do it all again next year!

Four people in a line posting at the end of a performance. One man lying on the ground
True love triumphs over all. Or at least, over the bad guy (Photo by Callum)

Thanks so much to Chris and Kath from O’Grady for organising and running our classes this year, and to Callum from the On Cue class for taking so many photos.

Week 48 summary

What was the best thing about this week?

Performing in the theatre again.

What did I notice this week?

This rainbow.

The mountain with a rainbow over it in the background with a big cloudy blue sky
kunanyi and a rainbow

I also noticed there’s a blackbird (or maybe there’s more than one) who screeches a lot when the resident kookaburra is around. The other day it was sitting on my deck railing being very loud, and next minute the kookaburra swooped in. I think it was warning the little birds that hang out on the garden.

What did I learn this week?

I learned that there’s a muscle that runs down the outside of my calf and travels underneath my foot to control my big toe. That muscle is tight. My toe doesn’t work properly, which is likely related to this muscle being over-tight. And also the fact that I’m not walking on my foot correctly.

Yes, apparently after having been able to walk for decades, I’ve forgotten how to do it properly . . .

I have more exercises to do and a bizarre form of therapy involving slathering my foot with voltaren gel and wrapping it in cling wrap before I go to bed.

A foot wrapped in glad wrap
. . . wrapped in plastic . . .

Who ever thought the caterer’s pack of cling wrap would come in handy.

What I’m reading this week

  • Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown
  • The White Wash by Siang Lu
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