We’ve been doing LOOP for so long, we’ve forgotten what it’s like putting a new piece of work out there.
For ages it’s been, “we’ll have a couple of rehearsals there, we’ll just dust the show off and we’ll be ready to go” that we’ve forgotten how nerve rackingly terrifying it is to start creating a new play from scratch.
As the writer, the biggest fear is “well, I have no idea whether this material works”. But that’s not entirely true. The very first incarnation of Hedgehog was performed at Hatch’s new work night in Waterloo in Spring 2018.
That was the first time Manda’s words had been spoken aloud, and we got a sense of how the audience would respond to her.
But beyond a few laughs and a few lines of dialogue, we really have no idea what to expect.
This play was commissioned and written in January 2018, before we had any idea that LOOP was going to have a further life. So when I got stuck in to creating a character specifically for Zoe, it was with the full expectation that this piece would see the light of day, at the latest, summer of that year
And then came Stratford East. And the megabus to the always mighty 53two (who, rest assured, are going to return with a vengeance to take Manchester by storm, as they always have and always will). And then came a month of temperamental weather and well-trodden cobbles and more than a few late nights, as we made the Underbelly our home.
But all roads led to Kentish Town. And as we make that wonderfully versatile studio our new base, we knew it was time to get back to the Spice Girls, and Mr Jenkins’ shop off the high street, and to stand on the edge of the dance floor.
The fantastic women from LOOP are returning, (have I mentioned the twins from the Shining being really quite creepy? You’ll see what I mean when you come to the show) and they’re being led by the phenomenal Georgia Richardson, who’s grounding the show in an uncomfortable reality.
The reality that everything’s not always alright beneath the surface. Even if that surface seems fine. Seems funny. Seems bright. There might be something horrible beneath.
We’ve got three weeks until intensive rehearsals. There are props to source and stressful moments bound to be ahead. But a new one’s coming.
We haven’t had that feeling for a couple of years. And it’s exciting.
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