Rehearsals – Day 7 – Helena Blair

So, in true student/actor/generally hopeless and forgetful me fashion, I let the blog fall behind a little, but it’s back, nearing its end, and drawing very close to what all our preparations including the writing of this blog has been for- The Music Box’s two week run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival… I’m so excited!!

I joined this production not quite comprehending how much work would be required in order to fully realise my character, ‘the Mother’ of the play’s protagonist, Laura. She and the doctor aren’t onstage as much as the others, they don’t interact with anyone other than each other, and most significantly, they don’t speak. So, playing that part will be easy, right? Surely there’s not much responsibility there? Wrong! The Mother is an incredibly lonely woman, who has been hurt emotionally in the past to such an extent she has become a kind of recluse, developed a twisted relationship full of jealousy and resentment towards her daughter, and finds herself falling wholly for the doctor and the attention he gives her when he steps into her world. The play takes place essentially as a result of the Mother’s past actions, and much of what she and the doctor do during their time onstage influences what happens between Laura and the other characters throughout the play. There is so much to be told, felt and done by the pair, in silence, and it has been an amazing, challenging experience in rehearsals working out how to communicate such a large amount when we perform. Every scene has a story, and every action has a motive behind it, and a consequence- it’s up to you, the audience, to work to understand this couple and their effect on the play, and become as engaged with their tale as we all have!

I am so, so happy to be involved in The Music Box Edinburgh run. To me, this beautiful and enthralling play is what the Fringe is all about- pushing the boundaries and experimenting with theatre. The cast are an amazing group of people, who are all immensely devoted to the play, worshipful of Emma’s writing talent, and proud of what we’ve all managed to achieve in a process that has been very much about group work. We’re having the time of our lives, and can’t wait to continue it when we hit the Big Fringe. I’d say we’re laughing and enjoying ourselves too much, but then, can you ever laugh and enjoy yourself too much? Our neighbours might disagree, but I hope there’s no limit anyway. Wish us luck in Edinburgh!

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