Plays at the theatre usually require three months rehearsal and people put in a tremendous amount of unpaid effort and their own spare time to create a very high standard of theatrical experience for the paying audiences. Imagine my suprise when Roger, the director asked me to step into a small role of 'Kim the chef' due to the previous actor being very unreliable. The previous actor got sacked and I stepped into his size nines and chef's whites. Within a period of just seven days I have had to learn four pages of tense dialogue and quite a bit of action on stage as well as understand the storyline of a family celebration and sibling allegations of former child abuse by the father of the family. The large cast have been very welcoming and I'm looking forward to performing again in a role so different from Lawrence in Abigail's Party.
Phil as Kim the chef - mean, moody and Danish.
I haven't mentioned this to some of my friends because I felt that I had enough to cope with learning the part properly in such a short period as well as have the added stress of them saying that they might come and see it.
As Kim the chef I also have to help move massive tables on stage with fellow actors to create the family table scenes of the 60th birthday celebration (Festen is Danish for celebration) as well as deal with man-handling a dozen hot bowls of soup up a dark flight of stairs to a backstage trolley. Later I help set the same table with a full continental breakfast in the last scene. And then there's the very important lines to be confident with and deliver them in a subtle/drunken way. Pressure? Stress? Hmmm! Schnapps anyone?