Saturday, January 22, 2011

Back down to earth?

Chasing Boudicca, on Thursday night, was a fantastic experience. After months of living with the warrior queen and working with Marie and Ruthanne, after the last couple of weeks in which I saw the others practically every other day for rehearsals and plans (we probably should have just moved in with each other for a couple of weeks), after a couple of sleepless nights on my part and a lot of racing pulses, we walked on stage at the NAC and started to share our Warrior Queen with a packed, and hushed, audience.

It was an incredible experience. Somehow the presence of the audience out there, who had never heard the poems or stories before, was galvanizing: I felt my own words coming alive in a way they hadn't before. And as we moved through the story, I slowly began to realize: we know this piece. We're living it. And ... have I seriously not dropped, or lost, or stumbled on, a single line?

Ruthanne and Marie were as good as I've ever seen them: at points I don't think the audience was breathing, and at points I know some were crying (that's good, we were going for that.) And Nathan Bishop was better than I could have expected, punctuating and propelling and participating with his bodhran, and the whistle that he'd brought along unbidden, and which he suggested we use at three points in the story where it turned out to be heartbreakingly perfect. At the intermission we stopped and looked at each other and said, "this is ... this is amazing!" while feeling a little as though we didn't want to jinx it.

I almost cried - but didn't quite - during the last poem: and when we got off stage and over to the side I did cry a bit, just overwhelmed by the high pitch of the emotions we'd been riding for the last few hours, and particularly the last two. It was a combination of relief and release and catharsis and happiness. We all hugged each other, and I tried not to collapse into tears entirely, because there were so many more people to hug and talk to. It was a really powerful experience for us, and I gather from people in the crowd that it was for them too.

There will be more pictures - there were a lot taken - but this is the one I've got at the moment, from Dad's Blackberry not long after the show. (My parents came up from NB for the show, which meant a hell of a lot to me: the show wouldn't exist were they not the wonderful people they are, and I'm happy and proud that they could be here!)

Marie's thoughts on the show, from her blog, are here. 

And then late last night I got sent a link to our Christmas present from Marie's Roomy! Kymeras fan art! It's so awesome I keep making 'squee' noises.

So I keep claiming I'm going back to "regular life" - although I sort of know that when you've got friends and co-creators as wonderful and strange as I do there's no such thing as "regular life." One project is finished, there are more ahead. I've got writing to do, and the Kymeras have a Fireborn show to put together for March. We want to tour Boudicca, and there have been rumours of theatre festivals and academic conferences that we just might want to bring it to: not to mention folks in Montreal and Toronto that want to see it. "Regular life"? Hah!

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