Saturday, April 08, 2006

Occupational Hazards

Occupational Hazards

There are some things that I consider to come with the territory of working FoH in a theatre. It's stuff like eating more ice cream than you should, finding it hilarious to shout 'Get thee to a nunnery' and discovering that the average theatre goer will inevitably greet the question 'what number are you?' with an answer containing a letter of the alphabet. But the absolute worst unavoidable hazard (worse than the vomiting or the fainting or the exploding coffee machines)? Falling in love with actors.

If an actor is good enough his very stage presence can make you love him. And whilst you get this on film and tv there's nothing that quite matches the ability of theatre to do this. Because they're metres away from you, in some circumstances you can almost touch them, you're part of the experience. And even though I really - really - should know better than this having been in the flight path of the Actor EGO enough already I can't help it. I'm still the girl who, several years ago, saw a production of Much Ado, fell in love with the guy playing Benedict and ended up inarticulately giggling into my drink when I bumped into him in a bar. Since that point there's been a list - many of whom I probably don't remember - of actors who have inspired love. Some for only a brief moment in the theatre, some whilst the glow of the production remained and others until some time after the fall out of the cast party.

During at this season - in a purely stage love type way I would emphasise because you know I would be blogging about it sooner if it had been any other case - there's been: a Nordic Adventurer (who took his shirt off on stage), a General (ooo, I'm a sucker for a posh voice) and now My Richard. Which probably needs a little explaining. Because My Richard is not the actor - as good as that Richard is - who is playing Richard III during the 'Wars of the Roses' trilogy which is currently gracing the Quarry Theatre but Richard's understudy. And as a result of circumstances involving an onstage fight, a nail in the wall and a moderately serious operation I ended up seeing My Richard making his mark in the second part of the trilogy a couple of weeks ago. Predictably I fell totally in love with him because, as his name suggests, he was my Richard. Maybe it had something to do with him being the understudy and fighting like mad for his moment but there was a wonderful vitality about him, and a vitality which is totally Richard. Which all made overlook the fact that he is blonde. And playing possibly Shakespeare's least physically attractive villain.

So now it turns out that I'm actually disappointed when I get to the WYP and discover that all roles are as they should be and My Richard is grabbing his glory playing one of the Princes in the tower. And I'm actually disappointed when I'm in the Green Room and practically every member of the cast comes in except him. And I'm actually disappointed that my current good standing in the eyes of the WYP means that I can't come within five miles of adding him to my non-stalking list.

It turns out I am not alone in succumbing to the charms of My Richard, though I admit to being somewhat amused that it fell to one of the male attendants to articulate the discovery of the day: "We're in love with the same man!".

Any bets on who it'll be next?

1 comment:

Val said...

What can I say?! I was surprised he was blonde, and I do love Richard - there's just something about him. The worry with some actors is when you realise that your male colleagues may have a better chance than you do!