I’ve been part of the Marlowe Senior Company for a year and a half now, having joined in January 2015. With no previous experience in extracurricular drama groups or activities out of school in general, it took me a while to be able to call myself a part of the group, not just technically but as one of the people I would have previously envied, already having friends and easily making connections with newcomers. By July 2015, I had myself a group of friends with whom I could fully thrive off of last year’s community project, The Rights of Others. In the past year my relationships with these friends have only grown, and before I knew it I had reached my final ten-week term with my group.
The show this year was performed on the main stage at the Marlowe, whereas previous performances have graced the smaller stage at the theatre, the Studio. The production was the largest community theatre project in the country, with over 24o participants of a wide age range. With such a large cast, it came as no surprise that significant roles would be limited, so some continuity would be felt in the play. Having not gained a place in the ensemble cast, I joined the rest of my company who had only a few lines each and joined in telling the tale of two young immigrants around which the story is focused.
We performed on the 13th and 14th of July, and many of us had fears about the sheer number of seats we were required to sell in order to accommodate such a large venue. When the first performance rolled around and we had yet to get through a full dress rehearsal with the enormous cast, many of us were worried about how the first night would be. There were some minor issues and an incident involving some awol nuns, but all in all we were informed that we had positive feedback from our audience (unless,of course, our director was simply trying to calm our nerves for the next performance). The second performance was a major improvement in my eyes, or from what I was able to see from the wings waiting to do my scenes.
The cast party in the pub across the road from the theatre in which most of the play was set was the best way to end my time at the Marlowe. Most of my friends were not actually there as many of the group are underage and couldn’t see the point in going to a pub not to drink, but those who were there are cherished friends nonetheless and the spirit of the evening was victorious and celebratory.
It is with a heavy heart that I leave the Marlowe Senior Company. I only wish that I had heard of it sooner and joined years ago, as the time has flown so quickly and I just don’t feel ready to go yet. I know that the friends I have made are not exclusive to a weekly two-hour workshop though, and I am grateful for having these people in my life.
ps. if any of those friends read this then I give you permission to punch me for being so sappy in a blog post.