Avenue Q – Five weeks to go!

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Nicky AQ

Five weeks to go until opening night and I’m…strangely calm about it all. Nerves is always a last-minute thing for me, well often beyond the last-minute and into the actual performance if I’m honest. It’s like there’s a moment when I suddenly realise I’m on stage. It didn’t happen very often with the band or in the classroom – but if it did, the first laugh broke down any fears I had. Thank god this is a comedy musical!

The lines are slowly going in, but I have to admit that it’s been a real struggle. For those that don’t know I’ve had a lot of issues in the last year with mental illness and the mix and strength of meds have really been a problem when trying to retain info like the words and harmonies. I’m in a much better place now and I feel the best I have for a while, but now I’m playing catch up and trying to force all this info in at the eleventh hour – which is a problem for other members of the cast waiting for cues. Sorry guys!

At the weekend one of the guys, Mark Goldthorp, from the West End production of the show came up to give us a master class in the technical side of the puppetry. It was a real eye opener to see how simple little additions to the movements and positioning could bring the puppets even more to life. It was a great chance to see how the professionals did it and use the influence of that in our own production. Trying to use the tips to make Nicky is difficult as I had an image of Nicky in my head so I need to adapt it now to fit in these new ideas.

The challenge really is to combine all the skills that are involved: Lines, songs, movement and then doing it all again with the puppets – why did I put myself forward for this again? I am enjoying it but I think I forgot just how big a task a show is – most of the others are seasoned theatrical tarts and it’s second nature to them so at time I feel out of my depth. Then again they have all been very patient with this new boy and it’s great to watch them all in action and I am determined not let the side down.

Now it’s a race to fill up the Arts Centre to make sure that all this hard work has a full house each night. So if you haven’t got your tickets contact any member of the cast for tickets (which means you avoid paying the booking fee!) email me at jd@johnduncan.co.uk  or head here: http://www.aberdeenperformingarts.com/events/avenue-q

JD

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