So. Tuesday’s Childe held the first public reading of our new play Hero in a coma at the Bridge Hotel. It’s an intriguing piece (I know, I of all people, shouldn’t really say that: it’s just true) which covers an awful lot of ground – and a fair bit of sea. As we described it:
Hounded by his investors, Oliver Decius sets sail across the Atlantic in a bid to save his boatyard. We travel with him as he runs into a storm of mythic proportions which threatens to cost him not only his business but his life.
‘Hero in a Coma’ examines our conflicting desires to sail away from the struggles of life or to stand and fight the monsters around us.
We’d gathered our cast, adjusted the script for a reading rather than a full performance, rehearsed, and now, at half-past seven we were ready to go.
I was nervous. Partly about the acting – I’m not primarily an actor and unlike the rest of the cast I’m not trained – but mainly because this was the first time anyone outside the group was going to see the whole piece. I had a lot of time to listen to the audience and in my mind every creak of a chair was someone disliking the piece and shifting their position in disgust. Were they enjoying it? Why were there so many words for the cast to get through? Surely no one could bear to listen to all this talking?
Then we got to the end of the first half. The audience clapped. They clapped even more at the end of the second half and gave us positive, usefully-critical feedback. Of course, being a nervy writer I usually only hear the words after the ‘but’. Yet there were people there who would like to see a full production.
Now that feels good.