Last night was opening night and I have so say, we were all nervous, but it went over incredibly well! Nobody dropped any lines (and they were incredibly difficult lines at that), and there were no costume malfunctions either. Hair and makeup took two hours at least, but everything was done and ready just in time to be on stage.
Tech week has been quite the experience for me, as I had a mountain of classwork to finish on top of the five to six hours a night I spent in the theatre with the rest of the cast and crew. The hours were long, the work was hard, and the sleep was minimal, but I got through it, we all did, to make this wonderful show. It is sometimes underestimated how difficult it is to put on a play written in a style such as Jane Austen’s. Lines become almost twice as difficult when they’re written in a version of a language a person isn’t used to. There is so much more that goes into a play like this. Dialogue training to perfect the accent, posture training to make the characters believable people living in the time period, and dance rehearsals focused specifically on those dances that are mostly lost to our generation. Given that Northanger Abbey required a second set of auditions, and that because of this, rehearsals started a month later than what was originally intended, I find it extremely impressive that we were able to put together such a great show in such a short amount of time, especially with all these extra necessities that come with performing a period piece.
Northanger Abbey has been a roller coaster of an experience for me, making me laugh and cry, often within the same breath. I’ve my own highs, lows, and every emotion in between, just like every other person who’s worked on this production, and after everything has been said and done, I’m glad I did it. I met so many wonderful people during the production of this show, and I’m looking forward to my next opportunity to work with Theatre Westminster again soon.