Thursday 26 April 2012

Conversations with Ghosts

Actor Jeremy Waters, who plays Jason in Crushed, shares a spooky story with us....

Actors can be a superstitious bunch. Curses, ghosts and rituals carry a lot of currency within the board-treading fraternity. We’re attuned to any ‘signs’ that shape our theatrical destinies. I think the ephemeral nature of theatre encourages this. It makes sense that strange parts of our universe can be stirred as we go about the business of telling stories.

While rehearsing Melita Rowston's brilliant new play Crushed at Queen St Studios, Sean Barker, Lucy Miller and I were diligently working through some of the complexities of the play when something occurred that left us all open-mouthed…

There’s a strong balloon motif that runs through the play – literally and figuratively. So, there we were, three actors alone in the big Queen Street Studios space working on a scene that centres around this motif. We were actually doing work. Really. We were. I was offering a piece of blinding insight towards this crucial scene – really, I was, when I saw a flash of colour in the corner of my eye and Stone The Flamin' Crows Elsa! a cheeky clutch of helium balloons hovered mid-air between Sean and I. They must have been clinging to the high ceiling then deflated and floated down while we gabbed about the play.

After the requisite ‘Whooooahs’ and ‘What the....s,’ we agreed this was a sign from the theatrical powers that be, a quiet little nudge to let us know that we were not alone as we pushed off from land in the good ship Crushed… 

I mean, when was the last time you sat in a room and a bunch of coloured air balls parked themselves next to you while rehearsing a scene in which they figured prominently? Coincidence you say? Methinks not.

When our esteemed director Lucinda Gleeson returned from a production meeting, she was suitably impressed by the cool shit we had seen. Being of our ilk, she quickly recognised ‘The Happening’ for what it was. So, to ensure our director caught a whiff of its presence, our friendly spirit let one last balloon float down and nestle gently at her feet.

Call me crazy (it’s been done) but this was an intervention. We now know that the Crushed team are not alone as we embark on this significant theatrical journey.

‘And you, a would be player too
Will give the angry ghosts their due
Who threw their voices far as doom
Greatly, in a little room.’

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