At last the read through! The Alma Tavern theatre sits above a pub (the Alma Tavern) in the Clifton area of Bristol, not far from Clifton College. It’s a very small theatre, barely 50 seats in total. The minutes beforehand felt like waiting for a dental appointment – not a mere checkup, but the kind of appointment when you haven’t been near a dentist in five years and suspect all sorts of problems – but in the end it all went very well. There were four scripts to be read before mine – all of them dramatic and interesting; all of them making me feel both that I wanted to know more and terrified that my ‘Cards for Clara’ wouldn’t measure up. Also, I felt incredibly stupid that I hadn’t realised how read-throughs work, and had left one of my characters with no actual dialog – in a read through, the cast sit on chairs and read their lines, with stage directions read aloud.
But in the end, it was all fine. It was truly inspiring to hear real actors (two of whom had been on Casualty, according to Google) bring the words to life, and my 10 pages really seemed to work well on the stage, even getting a couple of laughs despite the overall dark tone.
I don’t know when I learn about whether I’ve made it to the next stage, but even if I don’t, it’s been well worth it, just to get this far.