AUGUST 30 2015
I’m not a particularly religious man, but I’m pretty sure A-ha’s Take On Me doesn’t usually play in church. Let alone in Ely Cathedral. Yet on Thursday we took our 80s, farcical, ridiculous production of Taming of the Shrew to this historic building. With the backdrop of beautiful stain-glass windows and ancient columns, we performed the drunken bar-brawl that opens the show. In front of the golden altar we jigged to 80s hits. This was preceded by a warm-up in the 14th century Lady Chapel, including a cast-favourite of “Big Booty”. Slightly surreal experience to say the least.
During the show, while badly and loudly tuning a ukulele or screaming verse in a French-Italian (sometimes German?) accent, I couldn’t help but be in awe of this extraordinary building. Despite the juxtaposition, the show was a success, with much praise from the audience. As well as some startled but impressed comments such as “it’s a bit different isn’t it?” Different compared to… Sunday service? I should imagine so.
Ely Cathedral hosted our second preview, with the ADC Theatre holding Taming of the Shrew’s first public performance the previous evening. Nervous but excited to see what an audience thought, we spent the day doing a dress rehearsal and ironing out any problems. As it was a preview, it was mainly a chance to get feedback about the show, and see if things were as funny as we found them in the delirium of the rehearsal room. Luckily, instead of 2 hours of tumbleweed, we had great reactions from the audience – with laughs during the show and encouraging chats afterwards in the bar. There’s definitely further it can go during the tour, but we have a fun show that we’re looking forward to performing to audiences up the east coast of America. First stop Florida this Thursday!
Two venues down, nine to go...
Robbie Taylor Hunt/Servant/Hortensio/Merchant/Sunday August 30 2015