Let’s talk about Post Show Blues. Yes, it’s a real thing. It’s the feeling of sadness, loss even, after a show ends. Which, I suppose, for the uninitiated, sounds 100% ridiculous.
It’s not just the week of the show that’s over here though – it’s the weeks of rehearsals, weeks of getting to know your character and everyone else’s characters, and weeks of getting to know each other. It’s pub trips, and laughing at people missing cues, and huddling around tiny heaters in the freezing cold rehearsal room.
There’s something so utterly wonderful about the relationships you form when you’re thrown together to put on a show. You become family. By necessity, you break ice in places that normal friendships dare not go, so not only do you become emotionally close to this merry band of am dram brothers and sisters, you become physically close too.
And all of this ends. And ends suddenly.
After the final performance on the Saturday night, once we’d re-arranged the Holy Sepulchre ready for their Sunday service (yes, I performed in a church and didn’t burst into flames once), we went, as you would quite rightly assume, to the pub. When I finally got out of a taxi at 3.30am on Sunday morning and closed my front door, it all felt so very final.
It’s been most of a week now since the end of The Duchess of Malfi, and we’ve been fortunate to still see a fair bit of each other thanks to an all hands on deck approach to taking down the set, and an impeccably timed inter-drama group quiz.
Malfi was an eye-opener for me – playing a character so far removed from myself was incredibly freeing, but it came with new challenges. The first rehearsal had me shaking like a leaf – to be in this room filled with actors I seriously respected and have occasionally been in awe of was both wonderful and terrifying – I was far more nervous then than I was opening night! And I had my first stage kiss (or several as it ended up…)
What I discovered was the joy of being able to truly get into character – the audience were there somewhere in my periphery, but in that moment it was just myself and my scene partner. I was blessed with amazing scene partners too, which meant there was no panic about having to do things exactly the same each time, and we could play around with them a little, even up until the last performance.
There is a theatre shaped hole in my life right now – I would desperately love to scoop up the Malfi cast and throw us all into something new, but that’s so far from feasible… I guess it’s time to look at options for my next attempt at acting instead…