They want to be part of our world

Months and months ago when I arrived back in Valencia, Spain to start another theatre tour season I was explaining to one of the new actors that when the kids watch our shows ‘they want to be part of our world’. By this I meant the kids that watch the shows want to believe that the characters we portray are real and want to be involved in that world in any way they can. This is why when we ask for help and volunteers during shows we get inundated with hands that go in the air, screams (in Spanish) of ‘me’ and being chased around and grabbed by kids in auditoriums when we go down to pick them.

We have 5 shows again this year:

  • Igloo – about two friends, Yuki and Nala and their fishing adventure.
  • Tic-Tac Alice – a take on Alice in Wonderland which shows Alice meeting The Mad Hatter and The Queen of Hearts.
  • Gulliver – an adaptation of Gulliver’s Travels showing Gulliver going to Liliput and Brobdingnag.
  • Ghosts in Love – about two teenagers who meet at Chilligham Castle and try to get a picture of a ghost.
  • How to be Sherlock Holmes – a take on Sherlock where a woman wants to put on the play of Sherlock.

15195878_10211723671786322_5724838142630487369_o-copyI enjoy the two youngest shows the most (Igloo and Tic-Tac Alice) because the kids reactions to everything are incredible. They want to believe everything is real and after the shows when I wait by the auditorium door and say ‘bye’ and give all the kids high fives they don’t believe I am an actress playing the part. They believe I am Nala, or Alice. They don’t (tend to) ask for my real name because they want to keep their suspended disbelief and be a part of my world. It is such a beautiful thing to see. One of my favourite things is the look on the kids faces when I first come out as Alice (from a side door, I don’t enter from the stage if I can help it) they look so happy, it is like they can’t believe that Alice is saying hello and wants to high five them of shake their hand. It is such an incredible and powerful feeling knowing that I can make a child’s day by simply giving a high five or bringing them on to stage to participate in the show. I love it. It is one of my favourite things about my job.

I do also love How to be Sherlock Holmes, the show for teenagers (and sometimes adults) who have a high level of English. It is the show where I feel there is more depth to the character I play and I feel with a few tweaks here and there it is the sort of show that could be brought to the UK for English audiences. The show is quite complex and Tommy (my tour partner) and I have performed the show less than 10 times this season so far. If the audience’s English level is high enough (it isn’t always) the show is great, the audience is with us and they seem to like the characters and the comedic elements within. However, if the audience don’t have a high enough level, the show becomes difficult because we can tell the teenagers are bored because they don’t understand the diologue. There isn’t a lot that we can do if this happens, other than make sure we are speaking clearly and slowly enough. Generally though, the level is fine and both Tommy and I (and hopefully the audience) have a wonderful time.

Here are a few photos from rehearsals and shows to show you what I get up to on tour:

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Tom, Ryan, Hazel and me in costume for Igloo. Each show only has two actors, but this picture shows all the characters from Igloo.
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In the rehearsal room filming the promo video for Igloo
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Hazel and me dressed as Alice with our director Edu
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On tour in Vitoria (in the Basque Country). This mural was coincidently painted on a wall in a school we performed Alice in! I got completely surrounded and nearly carried off by a huge amount of children after this show.
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Laura, Hazel, me, Molly, Tom, Ryan and Tommy performing one of the songs from Gulliver to people in the office.
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Tommy and I rehearsing the Goliath the Giant scene from Gulliver before a show
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Laura, Molly, me and Hazel in costume for Ghosts in Love
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Tom, me, Molly and Laura being volunteers for Ghosts
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Learning how to tango with Edu for Sherlock
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Ryan and me rehearsing a scene from Sherlock
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