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One Week On

One week on from our final performance, REBECCA NEWMAN reflects on her time with the show and shares some of the company's favourite moments....

Be warned, something gushing this way comes. (BLOG)

Alas, the day. The cave is just a cave again. All of our tomorrows and tomorrows have been spent. But oh my, were those tomorrows spent in great largess. We have battled through the foul and fair, through a mire of bizarre illnesses, through 63 shows, all performed with our undaunted mettle and we have emerged on the other side, lost of labour but totally elated.

For Hannah and Justin, director and producer both respectively and extraordinarily, this bonkers project has been a brain child of theirs now for so long now that the child has taken its first step, hit puberty and now the child is a wild haired 32 year old, waving goodbye as it clears off to go and find itself. They have raised it well; it parts them filled with the fire of ambition. It flies the nest, leaving Hannah and Justin broody and hungry for more.

This has been unlike any other project. They were of course aided and egged on by Ellie Showering (composer), Sarah Warren (designer) and Edmund McKay (lighting designer). They’re all off their rockers, they are all geniuses (I did mention there would be gushing, I can’t help myself, I’m still in the honeymoon period.) Together they created this remarkable, all-encompassing world that I feel has genuinely moved and affected every person that has had the luck to experience it.

I’m more than a little glum that it’s over. And this abominable sunshine is doing nothing to help my mood; life is detestable where there is warmth and light! Our collective experience on this project has been one of such giddiness that I asked the Insane Root bunch for their favourite moment over the last eight weeks and this is what the little tykes came up with:

Justin Palmer (Producer): ‘When Ben (Macbeth) tried to put out a candle by slamming his hand down on it and it wouldn’t go out-even after hitting it three or four times. I was stewarding that night and it nearly made me laugh out loud.’

James Lisk (Stage Manager): ‘Rebecca Newman and I fighting a fire together’

Nicola Stuart Hill (Lady Macbeth): ‘Bottom trumping, leaking tankards and seeing how much time during the shows James Keningale had to spend covered in various liquids.’

James Keningale (Malcolm, Doctor): ‘Being told by a student that it was the first time they’d understood the play and were now going to read more Shakespeare.’

Zach Powell (Banquo): ‘It was all pretty ace, wasn’t it? When we explored a part of the caves we’d never been in and it was like an epic fantasy adventure. An amazing, unforgettable project.’

Ben Crispin (Macbeth): ‘When we went into the caves for the first time, it was amazing seeing the reactions of those who were seeing it for the first time.’

Chris Collier (Stage Manager): ‘In the dress rehearsal during the final speech, James thought he’d try something new and lovingly put his hand on Chris’ shoulder. Unfortunately it was the shoulder that Macbeth had sliced open and Macduff screamed in pain. What an actor.’

Hannah Drake (Director): 'Every music rehearsal and seeing the evolution of the fight sequences - being able to experience a little of what the audience does and that we aren't usually able to because we know the secrets.'

Personally, my favourite bit was the moment right before every show started. The queue for the camping loo forms, Michael Caine impression lessons begin, we are told off for letting our excitement get too loud, good lucks are exchanged, hands are squeezed. I have been part of something extraordinary and for this I can only say thank you.

Have you drowned in my gushing yet?

- Rebecca Newman

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