We're under way
After months of fund raising, sorting venues, sorting budgets and all the headaches that come with a new play, the good bit starts. It's going to be one big challenge having a core cast of five professionals, a new rock band to build and the small matter of not one, but two community casts to recruit, yet already we know it's going to be wortwhile as Graham Harvey's script starts to come to life. I know he's wrtten hundreds before, but this just feels magical.
I'm not complaining, but the sheer geography of making The Shearing Gang is pretty daunting. In a single week, the core cast meet at Alastair's London flat to set the keys for all new songs, the community cast in Liskeard are busying rehearsing the grand entrance and there's more auditions in Penzance. The one thing that is already clear is the huge enthusiasm we take with us and the talent of all the performers.
Trust me it doesn't get much colder than rehearsing outdoors on a March evening on Bodmin Moor. But for the good people of Sterts, it seems like second nature. It's dark and cold and then the car headlights start arriving as if by magic and within minutes the huge auditorium is full of people chatting, gear being shifted and the first of the warm up exercises - rather too necessary given the weather - is underway.
Over the next few week I'll get to know them and share the latest goings on.
I am Antony and hugely honoured to be director of The Shearing Gang..... I hope it will be a show really worth watching. More than anything, I hope it will be a chance to join in.... quite seriously, no previous experience required.