NATIONAL THEATRE AT 50 - Behind The Scenes!
Life's pretty damn amazing when you get whisked off to New York on a romantic holiday. So, imagine my surprise, when I'm on said holiday and I get an email from my agent telling me I had been asked to participate in NT50.
Yes, owing to the fact I had been in the cast of 'A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum' back in the dark ages (well, 2004), I had been chosen to participate in the main show that was to be held in the Olivier on November 2nd.
Yes. I admit it was up there as a career/personal life 'major moment'. Needless to say, another round of cocktails was bought to celebrate.......well, I was on holiday, right?
Cut to my return flight home. We boarded, sat, disembarked to re-board two hours later onto a new plane. I think it was something about a missing phalange. Silent panic ensued for the rest of the flight knowing I could be called in for rehearsals an hour after I landed. Thankfully I wasn't. Or the next day. Nor the next. I was beginning to fear there had been a mistake.
But thankfully not as I received my call from the stage manager on the Thursday. Relief! I had not made it up. The sections I was going to be in had not yet been rehearsed. Phew!
It's been quite a while since I've walked through the stage door to be directed to rehearsal room two but it still feels fantastic. I mean, how can you not be excited about being part of such an awesome, historical event? Even looking down the call sheet to see who is rehearsing would give any theatre-lover a little flutter of excitement; Dame Judi Dench, Christopher Eccleston and Ralph Fiennes were listed on my first day. Not too shabby.
With over 800 productions having been done in the last 50 years at The National, it's fascinating to see what has been short-listed to be shown on the night. I would tell you but I'm not sure if I should spoil it at this stage. But you are in for a treat. And I get to swear on stage. A lot. I also get to see Ralph Fiennes up close being brilliant.
At this stage, I know I sound like an over-excited school girl but this is a massive thing. There are people in the ensemble who have never been part of an ensemble in their lives! Incredible talent. I cannot wait for you to see what is to being shown. It truly is going to be a phenomenal evening.
However - first we need to get through the tech...
National Theatre: 50 Years On Stage broadcasts live on BBC Two on Saturday November 2.