Sisterly Feelings Monday May 18th Opening night transferred from Minack to Zoom.
I was very pleased with the way our virtual reading went and super proud of everyone who took part with special thanks to Zoe and Ethan the backstage team.
I think we have learned a lot. Virtual backgrounds and how to control them. Entrances and Exits how to make them look smooth. The use of co-hosts to support if there is a technical problem with audience or cast. It enabled us very smoothly to readmit those who lost connection.
All in all a very worthwhile event and a good celebration of what would have been a perfect opening night at a sunny Minack.
I have added to this some thought and comments from cast and audience.
If you’d asked me three months ago what I would be doing on the evening of May 18th I’d have been confident of the answer – carefully eyeing the skies and praying for decent weather for the opening night of Sisterly Feelings at the Minack.
In my wildest fantasies I would never have contemplated performing my part in the solitude of my own bedroom, aided and abetted by a virtual cast and before a virtual audience. Yet owing to a bizarre combination of a global pandemic and the wonders of modern technology that is exactly
what transpired (and we must not forget dear Johnny whose mad idea this was!).
The fact that this was pulled off so successfully owes much to the Zoom software, which I’d never heard of before April. So this was a steep learning curve for me, with knowledge being acquired both before and during the performance! My bête noire was the Virtual Background – I could only make this work by pointing the laptop camera at the white ceiling and looking down into said camera to deliver lines (even this failed when the natural light faded at around 8.30, and once again I became a ghostly apparition).
Entrances and exits were an interesting challenge, particularly in the cross-country race scene, where I would have been (and hopefully will be in 2021) haring around the stage in all directions. I’m convinced I felt more exhausted after Monday than I would have at Porthcurno. Props were, to quote Jeeves from another show, ‘mostly imagined or representational’. This involved my daughter Cathy launching sandwiches on to my picnic plate from behind my laptop (blink and you missed it), as well as clipboards, stopwatches etc. Sadly our long-suffering audience were deprived Constable Murphy ‘handing’ me a loud hailer – that scene fell victim to the random choices in the script.
Thanks to all of our wonderful cast for throwing themselves into this venture, especially Chris and Nick who replaced original cast members at short notice. The backstage team were as active as they would have been in a live show – I think we have Ethan and Zoe to thank for this – and we must not forget John’s boundless enthusiasm in putting the whole thing together. We also thank the Zoom audience (14, I believe – I’ve played to fewer in real life) for getting into the spirit of the project and for their kind feedback after the show.
We fervently hope that in twelve months these strange times will be behind us and that we will be celebrating a more conventional success story on a real stage. Nonetheless, this unique performance will be a delightful memory when I sit back and recall the special moments I have been privileged to enjoy with CDDG.
Please give my congratulations to all involved in “Sisterly Feelings”. It’s not a play that I am familiar with, but it kept my attention throughout. I thought it was amazing to get the reactions between characters when they were not even in the same room!
It was a rather strange occasion, we should have been at the Minack, but … we know the rest. It was the first time we had tried to do anything like that and I think we learnt a lot from the exercise, especially about lighting and virtual backgrounds.
When you are next in touch with cast and crew of Sisterly Feelings, please tell them that I thought they did a stirling job on Monday.
That was a lot of fun. Thank you everyone…its so lovely to keep in touch.
New experience. Prefer reality but good to see everyone.
Really enjoyed that John, so glad I joined can’t wait for the real deal.
I thought everyone did really well considering the limitations and difficulties of using technology for a live theatre event. Characters emerged and the story was clear from the start. You could tell it was going to be a great show at the Minack for all.
Great performances from all the cast and very cleverly adapted to zoom- it didn’t feel like just another zoom catchup but felt like an ‘event’ with the use of tech, excellent work by all! Looking forward to seeing it at the Minack next year!