Patiently waiting

Firstly, let me explain. My name is Barrie Hunter, and I’m an actor. Helen in marketing asked me if I would be interested in jotting down a few words for the Citz blog, as I am currently rehearsing the role of the waiter in Harold Pinter’s Betrayal, which previews at the end of this week. I appear only in one scene, so I think Helen realised I would have a little more time on my hands than the 3 other actors, who have slightly more involvement than myself, to say the least! [Ed: That; your sparkling wit and astute mind!].

[Ed: My bribery to get Barrie to blog. Pinter's much over-looked waiter makes his mark]
I turned up on day one of rehearsal for the meet and greet and read-through, then I departed to let them get on with it while I jetted off to New York for a holiday-nice! I re-joined the team last Monday, which was the start of week 4 of rehearsals for Neve, Hywel and Cal (Emma, Jerry and Robert respectively), with Dominic at the helm.

Barrie with Andy Clark in Hamlet at the Citz
It’s been fascinating observing the play come together, and see the importance of punctuation being acknowledged within the production of the play. Every pause, silence and dot dot dot (…) line ending is in the script for a reason, and by not using them wisely, it just simply would not be the play that Pinter wrote. Dominic has likened this to a musical score, which I think is absolutely bang on, and when it’s observed, it works wonderfully well.

I, on the other hand, have the somewhat easier task of merely timing my exits and entrances, uncork wine bottles, pour said wine, take food orders, deliver food orders, take away plates, and generally interrupt Cal and Hywel’s conversation in the restaurant-easy peasy! Aside from one corkscrew dropping incident on Saturday morning, I seem to getting to grips with this for the most part.
There is an extraordinary amount of liquid intake in the play, and a large part of the setting up in the rehearsal room before a run of the play seems to be taken up with the filling of various bottles, beakers, glasses etc with water, which the cast then proceed to imbibe through the play. We have one of the most well irrigated casts I have ever had the pleasure of working alongside, and at the end of each run, before Dominic’s note session, the Citz’s plumbing is thoroughly utilised!

So here we are now at the start of Tech Week, when the whole shooting match relocates from the rehearsal room to the stage, and a new set of challenges await for the cast, crew and production team-happy days! We commence at 2pm this afternoon to rehearse the scene changes on stage, of which there are many. Without giving too much away (you’ll need to come and see for yourself), the rehearsal room has resembled a furniture warehouse from the late 60’s/early70’s, and that furniture (and cast) has to now arrive and depart the playing area seamlessly, as time passes through the play backwards and forwards…that’s the plan, anyway. Watch this space to find out how this all pans out…

2-24 March | More info