I will, once again, be treading the boards shortly, after some time off to change careers. In May I will be performing in Jekyll and Hyde and, arguably not the first time, I'll be dying on stage.
To ease myself back into the world of makeup, bad dancing (in my case) and costumes that I wear too many times between washes, I've thankfully got a role that's relatively small (no sniggering at the back). As a member of the "Board of Governors", I'm a toff who refused to continue to support Dr Jekyll's work. Sadly, it does mean my role comes to an abrupt end at the beginning of the second act.
However, short it may be but easy it's not and last Wednesday I started what will be a number of sessions on stage fighting. One my co-performers Chris, and his actress partner, Victoria, are on duty with this and Chris has an impressive CV when it comes to all things dangerous on stage…
I trained with a film and TV combat team for several years and more recently I have worked with a combat team, doing stunt falls, bare knuckle boxing and gunfight for live audiences at Boomtown music Festival. This year will be my 4th year at that festival where I have been asked to take the role of stunt coordinator! I've had years of viking reenactment too, as well as training in stage firearms at college too.
So, yeah, Chris knows what he's doing and he's already taught a handful of us various fighting techniques which, although may not be relevant to this show, are critical to ensure that anything we do do, is handled safely. Personally, I've found it fascinating and look forward to learning more.
What I won't say is how I die but I know the aim is for this to be as "scary as hell" and to genuinely try and upset the audience. From what I've been told about my death, I suspect it may be key to this latter part. It will be both brutal and shocking. And, yeah, in amongst it all I get to sing and act (and, thankfully, not dance).
To top it all off, the costume is steam-punk style so I already have a wish list of my planned look. The fact that I'm going to two Comic-Con's between now and then will help, as they're great for both inspiration but also for purchasing practical item (stalls with steam-punk item pick n' mixes, anyone?).
If you live in the Nottingham/Derby area then tickets are still available and we'll be performing at the Duchess Theatre, Long Eaton, between 22nd and 26th May. And for those looking for something a little more, we'll be holding a special gala performance on the Thursday, with a full red carpet welcome, drink, canapé and a host of additional extras – £5 of the ticket price goes to a mental health charity.