Yesterday, the cast, myself and the director of "Our Style is Legendary" went to Nottingham on a wee trip to explore the locations of the play, re-imagine the memories, get a feel for the place and bond over a few jars.
It was a wonderful day, really wonderful.
Not only did it bring the cast together for the first time (and don't they just look amazing) and began the process of the formation of a gang mentality, much needed for the us and them of live theatre (I am happy to see we've already developed a few in-jokes and phrases that link us a group) but is also acted as a catalyst to provocative thoughts on character, environment and the push and pull of space upon humans.
(Speaking of space and architecture, here is a sneak preview of the set design by Rich White.)
Perhaps, more importantly, it wetted the appetite for what was to come in the rehearsal process this February and ramped up the excitement to what awaited us all on this fantastic adventure.
Of course, visiting some of the locations was difficult, it as far too easy to transpose myself some 18 years back and see my young self, resting, nonchalant, against grimy, graffiti tattooed walls and thus, to see apparitions of friends, much loved but long dead; co-exisitng with my past self. The only place these friendships can ever exist again.
I didn't have a little cry until I was safely ensconced on the Piccadilly Line train back home...home, which is London now, not Nottingham.
So now, we wait, wait until the 21st February when rehearsals start in posh and ever so far removed Battersea, where we will take our Notts field-trip learning and make that little corner of SW11 forever NG3.
"See you on the ice..."