Never been to a dress rehearsal before. Have been to a tech rehearsal but not a dress. I know some theatres let a few select people in but nothing quite like this for the Young Vic's new production of Jon Fosse's I Am The Wind.
There were about 30 or so of us and table of complimentary drinks in the 'closed to the public' Young Vic bar. All very civilised and un-hoi-palloi-ish which appeals to inner snob in me immensely.
I was expecting some sort of introduction, like there was at the RSC's tech rehearsal I went to last year but no, we were ushered into the eerily quiet auditorium seated roughly together in a central block and then the play started.
It's a while since I've seen the stage built so differently at the Young Vic. The seating is still roughly on three sides but there is no raised stage a la Vernon God Little, Glass Menagerie and Beauty Queen of Leenan. If you sit on the front row for I Am The Wind your feet are on the stage.
There is virtually no set but there is a stage-device, for want of a better description, which is quite gasp-inducing and clever. The actors, Tom Brooke and Jack Laskey, certainly work hard as a consequence - and no I'm not going to reveal more, you will have to wait for my review proper after I've seen it in a couple of weeks or even better go and see it for yourself.
All I'll say about the play itself is that it's a thought-provoking piece that is Godot-esque at times. If that isn't your bag then you have been warned. I'm planning to read the text between now and the real performance as it's meaty and there is a lot to digest in one sitting - for my pea-sized, easily distracted brain anyway.
And then it was over, again no speeches just back to the bar for more free drinks, the atmosphere enlivened a little when the actors turned up. My friend Sue and I were the last to leave, not because we are cheap-skates just a lot to catch up on, but as we were being let out we bumped into Tom Brooke (who has the most amazing blue eyes). I asked him what the reason was for the audience at the dress rehearsal and he said he was a little taken aback by it but that it "must be a French thing."
He asked me what I thought and he described it as an "intriguing piece of work". And I quite agree. Luckily our paths diverged before I could launch into the bunch of idiotic questions that inevitably float around in my head after I've seen a play.
Felt quite privileged to see the dress rehearsal, so thanks Young Vic. Looking forward to seeing it again. Previews start tomorrow and it runs until May 21.
* Did at first think it was a rude audience member but quickly realised that turning around and glaring probably wasn't the best thing to do.