This is a sequel to last night’s post, and may or may not make more sense if you read that first.
(cue Bon Jovi)
So, tonight Mom and I returned to the dwelling of Theatrical Company of Overachieving and Probably Not Quite Right in the Head Young People for the second half of Our Mutual Friend. In true Dickensian style, the wicked were punished (some by their own hands), the faithful were rewarded, the good got married, and the comic relief continues to thrive in absurdity.
It was wonderful.
I’m sure the production was far from perfect from the performers’ point of view, but as an audience member I was blissfully unaware of most of the mishaps (though I did notice the overzealous fog machine, which felt a need to refresh the smoky atmosphere of the theater every fifteen minutes or so, and the bit where the wheels of the wheelchair got stuck in a gap in the stage floor…). Part of me really wants to see a professional company (like RSC) take it on, because then it would be mind-blowingly amazing, not that this performance wasn’t.
But, oh, I am SO PROUD of everything they have achieved. So impressed with everyone’s acting, with their cheerful endurance, with the triumph they made of what I can say from experience is perhaps the greatest and most grueling creative endeavor yet undertaken. Bravo, brava, well done, my successors!
And oh, the joy of returning home, not as a forgotten once-was-here, but as a beloved and admired fellow thespian! The pure delight when R. and A. found out I had come! The excitement of GM and MDS and GD and all the others who remembered me from our shared trials and triumphs in NickNick! The new members of the company, who, upon hearing I was one of the fabled intern directors of NickNick, insisted on shaking my hand!
I don’t say this with intentions of bragging. I only mean to express how warm and happy and loved I felt at this reception. I think the best moment was when OG tugged me from a conversation with GM and said excitedly, “You! You directed Richard II! That was my first production! I remember you! Do you remember me?” And remember him I did, though as a round-faced boy and not the lanky youth he has become. Amazing what changes three years can bring! From the new kid whose costume continually mushroomed* to a veteran actor with leading roles in both casts of the production.
I could not be prouder of the current Overachieving etc. Young People, nor happier to know I am remembered fondly. And until I find a paying job, I mean to repay some of what that same Company has given me over the past decade, however I can. Who says you can’t go home?
*‘Mushrooming’ is a term we use for the improper wearing of a renaissance cloak or slouchy cap, which when not worn properly to one side, bag about one’s body and shoulders in such a way as to give one the very appearance of an overgrown fungus.
If it seems that my writing has been a tad…antiquated, bombastic, flowery…of late, I blame the talented Mr. Dickens. His prose has a way of infecting my own when I spend too much time in the company of his words. At the least, I do hope it will not cause me to be seen in a “bony light.”
…and if you get that last joke, I applaud you, fellow connoisseur of absurd 19th-century literature.