May 29, 2006, by Peter Kirwan

Work privileges

I work at Warwick Arts Centre in Coventry, which has an ongoing relationship with the company Cheek By Jowl– we show their two current productions each year, one in Russian as part of the Chekov International Drama Festival, the other in English. A couple of weeks ago we had their production of Middleton’s ‘The Changeling’, and this week the Russian language version of ‘Twelfth Night’, which is part of the RSC Complete Works but isn’t going there until the new year. So, I get the chance not only to see one of the plays several months early, but also to see it as many times as I want as I get free tickets!

Today I’ve been at work watching the get–in, as the company comes in to set up, rehearse and generally prepare for the first performance. There’s been a really good buzz about this– partly because ‘The Changeling’ was so good, and partly because the academics from the department have been trying to convince everyone that it’s the greatest ‘Twelfth Night’ they’ll ever see! From what I’ve seen of the set–up, it’s a very white performance, with a bare stage and drapes unfurling from the ceiling. Unfortunately, my Russian language ability is non–existent, so I can’t talk to any of the cast, but I’ve chatted to some of the crew who are all equally excited about it. I’m seeing tomorrow’s performance, and then another two days after that, can’t wait!

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