Mamet Days @ The Arcola

I sit here on a sunny afternoon in early May, wondering whether we are in fact already in summer, and what will happen in the months of July and August? Perhaps a pale echo of the gorgeous weather that this year has already afforded us? I’m enjoying it while I can, so I’ll hurry up and get on with this so I can soak up some of the sun!

We have four performances left of Lakeboat/Prairie du Chien, a double-bill that I am very proud to have been a part of. When my agent called me about the audition for this job I was already of the mind that I’d like to work on something that would contrast Sister Act; I think I’ve been running away from being labeled either a ‘musical theatre actor’ or ‘straight theatre actor’ for most of my career! So I was very eager to be recognised for not one, but two David Mamet plays. At drama school I worked with director Aaron Mullen on Mamet’s Edmond; I have very fond memories of working with the hard-hitting nature of his writing. David Mamet, in my mind, is one of the only contemporary playwrights that is able to get to the heart of masculinity in his male characters, displayed warts-and-all in poetic yet cutting text.

I arrived at the audition about 25 minutes early to find that they were running a bit over, which didn’t bother me as it gave me more time to go over the scenes that I had been asked to be familiar with. I found myself in conversation with some other actors who were there to be seen for the same part. There is a very funny thing that happens when two or more actors meet in the ‘waiting room’ before, or even after an audition. Chatting politely with my ‘competition’, I kept thinking to myself, ‘he’s probably gonna get the part’ or ‘I am not bothered that these guys are so good looking!’

I met the director, Abbey Wright, and was instantly put at ease; she has a way of doing that, of making you feel that you are in safe hands, so to speak. I came out of the audition with the sense that, even if I did not get the part, I had done what I had intended to do.

Evidently, I got the part and I’m grateful for the experience that has come with it, now I’m off to bask in the sun!!