Some of you might have noticed that I have been practising my stilt walking for the last month. You might have seen various tweets and facebook statuses showing my panic when I got the part of Espen in “How High?”. I’ve had such a fantastic few weeks of rehearsals with Pascale Whyte, directed by Jeremy Harrison and Laurence Greiner, and it was an added bonus that rehearsals took place at good old Rose Bruford. It has changed so much since I left Rosie B in 2000. I hardly recognised it! It was a joy going to rehearsals, starting off in the canteen with lovely morning chats over a cup of hot chocolate, then bouncing about on my stilts for the rest of the day, speaking and singing in Norwegian, rehearsals only interrupted by more chats and tea. The atmosphere in the rehearsal room was so creative, professional and energetic that it was easy to get carried away into the amazing world of Hettie and Espen.
Last week our rehearsals moved to The Half Moon Theatre in Limehouse. I’ve never visited the venue before, but I was told it had been newly renovated. It looks amazing, and the staff are so friendly. Pascale and I felt instantly welcome as we brought all our props and costumes in. We did one show on Friday to an invited audience (30 programmers and 40 kids), and two shows on Saturday. It was fantastic to finally do it in front of an audience, and to see the kids’ reactions to all our silliness. It was also wonderful to meet the kids after the show. One little girl looked up at me and said suspiciously: “What ARE you??” I don’t think I convinced her when I explained that I wasn’t an actual troll, I was just pretending. Another little girl drew a picture of ‘Espen’ on one of the chalkboards at the theatre, but apologised for not being able to draw rolled up sleeves.
Now the stilts and boxes have been put away till February when Pascale and I will be venturing out on tour in Suffolk. Till then, bye bye, Espen and Hettie. See you soon!