You may know this feeling:trepidation and elation, of wanting to hang on to your version of something whilst wanting an open enough mind to accept that you may have bits wrong.
This is what happens when a book you love is brought to life. As an author I have never seen that happen to any of my characters but on Sunday I saw a book that I love to read made flesh, as it were. I had spent a month wondering how various parts of the story could be created on a stage, but the thing that leads to all that -ation is how the characters will look and sound, particularly the main ones.
Well, the Lighthouse Theatre Company had all the characters pretty much as I had imagined them. Herod, the PE teacher, was, if anything, rather too reminiscent of the one I remember from my school days. To avoid rugby in the cold rain required an act of at least one god and more chutzpah than any twelve year old possessed. I never managed it, even as a child with a damaged ankle. It made me the man I am today – an adult with a damaged ankle.
The main character, Louie Knight, gumshoe extra-ordinaire to the good (and not-so-good) Aberystwythites, was just as I imagined, even down to the voice. It was uncannily like watching your mind’s eye strolling around in front of you, but with a better delivery of the lines.
The perk of donating to the crowd funding that made the production feasible arrived through the post as I began writing this:
The mug was in use twenty minutes later; the pen is now my “writing pen”. And for two hours on a Sunday evening, I watched Louie Knight live and breath and walk through an Aberystwyth where there is a Canticle Street and Druids rule the roost. When I walked out into the cool Aberystwyth air, it felt like I was there. Which, given that I actually was in Aberystwyth, just added to the magic.
Don’t you just love theatre?