confidential. Janine rehearses

9 Feb

The rehearsal began in its usual way, but Marianne realised that something very unusual was happening. She suddenly found herself enjoying it as she never had before, and there was a kind of lift to the performances of the other actors, even though it was only a rehearsal. There had been no complaints about Laura as a performer. But this girl brought something extra. It was a thing Marianne had not dreamed of, and it filled her with a kind of alarm.
Suddenly the play was coming together in a way she never suspected could happen. They worked through until lunchtime. Janine had taken the trouble to be word perfect. Marianne had taken time to go through the blocking with her and she had practised assiduously lmost ready to go ahead without any further rehearsal. It was a perfect run-through. The rehearsal began in its usual way, bu Marianne realised that something very unusual was happening. She suddenly found herself enjoying it as she never had before, and there was a kind of lift to the performances of the other actors, even though it was only a rehearsal. There had been no complaints about Laura as a performer. But this girl brought something extra. It was a thing Marianne had not dreamed of and it filled her with a kind of alarm.
Suddenly the play was coming together in a way she never suspected could happen. They worked through until lunchtime. Janine had taken the trouble to be dead line perfect and Marianne had gone through the blocking with her, so she also knew all the moves. The play was almost ready to go ahead without any further rehearsal. It was a perfect run-through. Marianne dismissed the company, who now had to go and rest before the evening performance.
Jason grabbed Marianne by the arm.
“Want a drink?” he asked.
“Only if accompanied by food,” she replied.
“Could be arranged.” he said.
They curled themselves into Jason’s car. It was a long low job, built for speed rather than comfort. As it zoomed along, Jason asked her.
“Well?”
“Well what?” she said, knowing exactly what he meant.
“Your little gamble is about to pay off.”
“Don’t speak too soon, darling. Wait until her opening night. We’ve all met people who only do rehearsals. She could fall apart once the rag goes up.”
“NO, not this Cookie. I admit I was wrong about her, but she’s won over the rest of the company I can tell. She’s behaving like an angel.”
Marianne crossed her fingers.
“Can we not discuss it?” She said,” Let us wait and see.”
“OK” said Jason and they drove on in silence for a while.
“How’s Charlie?” he asked
“He’s All right, I think. Why?”
“I get the feeling there is something the matter.”
Marianne was silent. She didn’t know whether to speak the thoughts that were hurtling around in her head.
“You know. I thought Charles quite fancied me.”
“He still does, surely.”
“He doesn’t show it any more. Since we had the fight over Janine, he’s kept himself very much to himself”
“Mm, I see. You think he was stringing you along? So you’d save the play for him?”
That was something that had never occurred to her.
“Oh no, surely not. That would make me feel horrible.”
“Oh hell! I didn’t mean to upset you. I don’t believe that. I just thought you might.”
This was obviously not a subject for discussion at the moment. Marianne changed the way the conversation was going.
“I still don’t know where he found the play, have you any idea?”
“Everybody’s wondering that. There’s been no sign of the author. You had an amazingly freehand with it.”
“Until now. Charlie insisted that Janine should play the part.”
” Oh I see, that worries you. You didn’t want her?”
“No, but I think he may be right.”
“That is certainly not something to be worried about. The strumpet is a marvel.”
“Anyway, there wouldn’t be an author if it was written in the 1800s as Charlie said it was. He said it was an old lady called Peverell Peake.”
“Isn’t that the name of a hotel?”
The car drew up outside one of their favourite pubs by the river. They got out of the car and went inside. Jason busied himself getting drinks and food organised. Marianne looked for a place to sit. They were lucky, and she managed to get her favourite table overlooking the river. It was good to sit beside the enormous window which gave the impression of almost being On the river. She liked to think they were on a boat floating along, watching the Thames drift by.
Jason returned with beer and sandwiches.
“Congratulations on getting the table,” he said as he placed everything down.
“You know what I think?” he said as he sat down opposite her.
“About the play? I’m sure we both thinnk the same thing. Shall we say it together?”
“OK. One two three –
“Charlie wrote it himself!”
Marianne frowned
“Oh it’s not possible!”
“Why not?”
“White bread.”
“What?”
“The sandwich, it’s on white bread.”
“Brown bread is just white bread dyed brown.”
“Not here, Jason, They do Wholemeal.”
Jason sighed
“Di you want me to change it?”
“You know I prefer wholemeal.”
“I’ll change it.”
“Too late. I’ve bitten into it.”
“So why isn’t it possible?”
“Darling, whoever heard of an author, who sat in at every rehearsal and watched his play being torn apart, rewritten, cut, slashed to ribbons and never said anything about it?”
“Never,” said Jason taking a swig of his beer “has Charles ever told you what he thinks about authors?”
“Certainly, he thinks that having written a play, their job is done and it is up to the director and the cast to make it all work. That’s fine as a rule, Actors cannot help changing the play, making a character their own and authors sometimes don’t recognise their play at the end of it. But this, Jason, this was major surgery after all.”
“We had an example of it this very morning.. It’s a different play with Janine in it.”
“Mm, that’s true.”
They ate and drank reflectively for a while. Then Marianne spoke.
“It’s going to be pretty strange working with Laura again this evening. I don’t envy you.”
“Don’t worry about me, love, It all adds to the fun. As for Charles. He might have just given it up into your hands even if he was the author.”
“I took the most astonishing liberties.”
“It may be just what he wanted. Suppose he wrote something that he knew wasn’t very good but felt it had something. You are famous for pulling rotten plays out of the mire. That’s why you never get a decent want to do. You’ve turned lots of rubbish into respectable pieces. Maybe that is what he required for his little brainchild.”
“OK, I’ll think about it. But not now. I want to get away from the Sea Captain for an hour or two. \may we do that?”
“Yes and I’ll change the sandwich for you.”
“Oh no#2 she cried, looking at her plate. “I’ve Marianne dismissed the company, who now had to go and rest before the evening performance.
Jason grabbed Marianne by the arm.
“Want a drink?” he asked.
“Only if accompanied by food,” she replied.
“Could be arranged,” he said.
They curled themselves into Jason’s car. It was a long low job, built for speed rather than comfort. As it zoomed along, Jason asked her.
“Well?”
“Well what?” she said, knowing exactly what he meant.
“Your little gamble is about to pay off.”
“Don’t speak too soon, darling. Wait until her opening night. We’ve all met people who only do rehearsals. She could fall apart once the rag goes up.”
“No, not this Cookie. I admit I was wrong about her, but she’s won over the rest of the company I can tell. She’s behaving like an angel.”
Marianne crossed her fingers.
“Can we not discuss it?” She said,” Let us wait and see.”
“OK,” said Jason and they drove on in silence for a while.
“How’s Charlie?” he asked
“He’s All right, I think. Why?”
“I get the feeling there is something the matter.”
Marianne was silent for a while. She didn’t know whether to speak the thoughts that were hurtling around in her head.
“You know. I thought Charles quite fancied me.”
“He still does, surely.”
“He doesn’t show it any more. Since we had the fight over Janine, he’s kept himself very much to himself”
“Mm, I see. You think he was stringing you along? So you’d save the play for him?”
That was something that had never occurred to her.
“Oh no, surely not. That would make me feel horrible.”
“Oh hell! I didn’t mean to upset you. I don’t believe that. I just thought you might.”
This was obviously not a subject for discussion at the moment. Marianne changed the way the conversation was going.
“I still don’t know where he found the play, have you any idea?”
“Everybody’s wondering that. There’s been no sign of the author. You had an amazingly free hand with it.”
“Until now. He insisted that Janine should play the part.”
“Oh I see, that worries you. You didn’t want her?”
“No, but I think he may be right.”
“That is certainly not something to be worried about. The strumpet is a marvel.”
“Anyway, there wouldn’t be an author if it was written in the 1800s as Charlie said it was. He said it was an old lady called Peverell Peake.”
“Isn’t that the name of a hotel?”
The car drew up outside one of their favourite pubs by the river. They got out of the car and went inside. Jason busied himself getting drinks and food organised. Marianne looked for a place to sit. They were lucky, and she managed to get her favourite table overlooking the river. It was good to sit beside the enormous window which gave the impression of almost being On the river. She liked to think they were on a boat floating along, watching the Thames drift by.
Jason returned with beer and sandwiches.
“Congratulations on getting the table,” he said as he placed everything down.
“You know what I think?” he said as he sat down opposite her.
“About the play? I’m sure we both think the same thing. Shall we say it together?”
“OK. One two three –
“Charlie wrote it himself!”
Marianne frowned
“Oh its not possible!”
“Why not?”
“White bread.”
“What?”
“The sandwich, it’s on white bread.”
“Brown bread is just white bread dyed brown.”
“Not here, Jason, They do Wholemeal.”
Jason sighed
“Di you want me to change it?”
“You know I prefer wholemeal.”
“I’ll change it.”
“Too late. I’ve bitten into it.”
“So why isn’t it possible?”
“Darling, whoever heard of an author, who sat in at every rehearsal and watched his play being torn apart, rewritten, cut, slashed to ribbons and never said anything about it?”
“Never,” said Jason taking a swig of his beer “has Charles ever told you what he thinks about authors?”
“Certainly, he thinks that having written a play, the job is done and it is up to the director and the cast to make it all work. That’s fine as a rule, Actors cannot help changing the play, making a character their own and authors sometimes don’t recognise their play at the end of it. But this, Jason, this was major surgery after all.”
“We had an example of it this very morning. It’s a different play with Janine in it.”
“Mm, that’s true.”
They ate and drank reflectively for a while. Then Marianne spoke.
“It’s going to be pretty strange working with Laura again this evening. I don’t envy you.”
“Don’t worry about me, love, It all adds to the fun. As for Charles. He might have just given it up into your hands even if he was the author.”
“I took the most astonishing liberties.”
“It may be just what he wanted. Suppose he wrote a show that he knew wasn’t wonderful but felt it had something. You are famous for pulling rotten plays out of the mire. That’s why you never get a decent one to do. You’ve turned lots of rubbish into respectable pieces. Maybe that is what he required for his little brainchild.”
“OK, I’ll think about it. But not now. I want to get away from the Sea Captain for an hour or two. May we do that?”
“Yes and I’ll change the sandwich for you.”
“Oh no,” she cried, looking at her plate. “I’ve eaten it.”
Jason laughed
“Well done!” he said, Time for icecream

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