Today was a challenging day for the cast and crew of The Three Musketeers. It was a special morning performance for various schools in the London area. First, it was our first day back after a dark Monday. Second, fight call was first thing in the morning, which is not always easy for theatre people who are pretty much night hawks. Third, we were lacking our Mother Superior/Innkeeper’s Wife, as Kelly’s boss wouldn’t allow her to take the day off work, so Monica (who plays Servant/Madeleine) was our Mother Superior and Deb (our producer/ASM) was our Innkeeper’s Wife. Fourth, we weren’t sure what to expect with our huge, over-sold student audience. How would they react? This was many of the students’ first live theatre experience, and we wanted it to be a great one. Fifth, about half the cast is sick. So, no pressure right?
As well, I had a rough morning as I managed to split my left eyebrow open on my car door on the way to the theatre. I came inside and Brandon (who plays my brother, D’Artagnan) took one look at me and exclaimed, “What the hell happened to you?!” Luckily, my very caring stage crew immediately went into first aid mode and got me all patched up.
We ended up starting the show late because quite a few of the buses of students were late arriving at the theatre to begin with, due to the crummy weather. Despite this, we started off strongly even without our Kelly to lead us in marching (Kristin, aka Queen Anne, stepped up and led us off). We hit a snag, though, at the end of Scene 4. Brandon was in the process of making a spectacular leap off the seven-foot tall platform when all the lights in the theatre went off and the music disappeared. Luckily, he made the jump safely in the dark! The crew scrambled around trying to restore power while the cast stood backstage, ready to enter “Paris” and start Scene 5. While this was happening, our fearless director Ceris and fight director Brock began a question and answer session with the students. We found out eventually that a hydro pole had been knocked out due to the storm and we wouldn’t be getting power for at least two hours. So what now?
Well, the show must go on! So, armed with flashlights, the entire cast of The Three Musketeers assembled onstage for a staged reading of the play. We got to the end of Scene 6 when construction workers from the rehearsal hall next door (the Palace Theatre is going through some major renovations right now) brought over extension cords and floodlights, which gave us enough light to bring the show back to its feet! No lighting, no sounds, no explosions, and our swordfights were (according to Brock) 10% slower than usual, but we made it happen! Backstage, we lit the dressing rooms with flashlights and cell phone screens and did our best to help each other out searching for items and even changing in the hallway with the stage door open to let light in! And while I don’t want to give any spoilers away, one particularly epic fight (in which I play a major part!) got a FANTASTIC response from the audience! They were cheering like crazy!!!
This has to be one of the weirdest experiences I’ve had in a production, but also (strangely enough) one of the best. We truly bonded together as a team and worked really hard to overcome all the obstacles of the day and put on a fabulous show. I feel truly blessed to be part of the Musketeers family and while I’m sad that we only have four performances left, I’m going to savour every minute of them! ALL FOR ONE, AND ONE FOR ALL!
Our director, Ceris, created a lovely write-up for Beat Magazine, click here to read it, or copy and paste the link: