5 Oct


A Dance Musical Film  

By Sam Cassidy 

Directed and Choreographed by Ainsley Ricketts. 

Wait for me was originally designed as a stage show, but of course Covid put an end to all Theatre productions. 

Writer Sam Cassidy realised the damage caused to people’s lives by being deprived of music theatre and decided to try and change the story into a movie – the first film to be performed totally obeying the social distancing strictures. With just four dancers/actors,iIt has become a most entertaining, original and moving piece of cinema. The story is told almost completely in dance, but the dancing and choreography are original, eccentric and sublime depending entirely on the emotional content of the scene. Choreographer Ainsley Ricketts is certainly a force to be reckoned with. 

The cast were put in quarantine for the three weeks of rehearsal to create a bubble. Even the technical staff members were not allowed near the performers. 

It is presented on an empty stage with very little furniture – just a bench and a small table. A few props a wine bottle, 2 glasses, a camera, and a book plus the very important blue teddy bear – an essential character within the story as it represents a virtual child. 

The prologue begins in Heaven with two angels dancing together, making love by stroking, teasing and playing like baby animals. These ethereal creatures are two halves of a single soul and they know everything about the world having been up in heaven watching them. 

While they are dancing, rays of light begin flashing, eventually becoming a circle on stage, separating them. They can no longer reach each other and instead they are given a task. They are presented with a soul divided into two and are given half each. They must find two human beings who will turn out to be a perfect match, get them to meet each other and make the two half souls into one. The angels cannot be together again until the task is completed. 

They split and go to earth to find a two people who should belong to each other 

On earth there is Jack, a young man obsessively reading his book, falling over his feet and anything that gets in the way of his walking, with his head stuck in the book.  Finally, the angels lead him to the bench, and he sits. 

The girl Emma has a camera and obviously loves taking pictures. She is currently trying to catch a white feather that is fluttering around.  She accidentally takes a shot of it as it lands on the knee of Jack. The two meet and they are twin souls.  

From then on, the play tells the story of the young couple, their affair, their marriage, the comedy and tragedy in their lives, always dancing, and always watched and helped by the guardians from heaven. 

The whole of this part of the story is told in dance with much sentiment and comedy. 

When tragedy strikes, the tale is too sad to rely on simply dancing, the narration goes to the wonderful voice of Eloise Davies who sings the most heartrending song I think I have ever heard. It is a simple theme, and it is the very ordinariness that makes it so emotional.  

The off-stage voices by Davies and Bluey Robinson are important. It seems that when the emotion gets too strong, the characters speak with the voices in their heads. After the third time of watching I was still in floods at this point. 

But there is also much comedy and of course some wonderful dancing by the four dancers, Jaih Betote, Chrissy Brooke, Clarice Lanta Lilly and  Ainsley Ricketts. They don’t just dance for the sake of it, it is not ‘pretty’ dancing, but it is elegant and vital. Each movement they make tells us something about the characters and their inner feelings.  

Film is an excellent medium for showing this example of eternal love, lasting through hate, disaster, life and death.  We can see the action from the same distance as on stage, but with the use of close-up you can see the emotion expressed on every face.  

Congratulations to Cinematographer Nick Ross and lighting designer Matthew Camazza. The sound is by Will Vaughan. 

This is a very special production and should be seen. The World Premiere in online via INPLAYER, Accessible via a link on the ‘WaitForMe’ Facebook page from Monday October 5. £10 to view.  

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