22 Sep 2013

Westward Ho!

And once again does Samuel share an

22 Sep 2013

And once again does Samuel share an excerpt from his much beloved rehearsal diary…

Each day to the rehearsal room where all day very busy and doing much business, and we shut away in a tin room which burns i’the sun and freezes i’the rain. Tis an ungodly place as the Wilderness of Sin in which the Israelites did wander long. But to lift the spirits, this week did we spy the settings and the costumes for the play which we do perform. A what a mixture of things upon the stage there is: here a wooden leg, there a ruff, here a mirror, and yet here a crowne as a man might split his sides in laughing. The settings are by Mr Davis, and wondrous ingenious they be. The machines are fine and the paintings very pretty. Miss Highgate and Mr Thatcher have concocted the wardrobe, and how poor they do look when too near at hand will change, for how fine the clothes will show on the stage by candlelight!

IMG_2816On Thursday last I had the most eminent experience of the evil of being out of ideas! I tried to stage a scene with all the actors assembled etc and there being much debate at caterwauling amongst the common players so I found my mind befuddled and unable to think clear. I was the most backward to begin anything, and would fain have framed to myself an occasion of going abroad and getting coffee or anything to clear my head – but the need to finish the scene kept me there, and I fell to the ridding away of self-doubts and the getting on with business. It was a pleasing thing to see the scene come together with the right gestures, movements etc etc, and I went home, exceeding merry. By and by, on Friday to the coffee house all, we actors in our finery, I in my new vest which my boy did fetch therein from the tailors. And a goodly sight we made, aye and a merry. We had our pictures drawn and I sat for my picture, and I think the artist will make a very fine one. He promises it will be good, but I almost break my neck looking over my shoulder to make the posture for him to work by. Having had our pictures done, we supped on coffee and tarts and then on to Pettigrew’s Tea Shoppe for more of the same, viz., drawing and pictures etc. This is as fine a place in the city as I know. And to see the pleasant and ready attendance we had, and all things so desirous to please and ingenious in the owner of the Tea Shoppe, did take me mightily – our visit did cost us 6s. Rehearsals being ended I with Mr Tobin to dine on roast chicken. And presently by and by we meet with pretty witty Mali T-J and Mr O’Donnell and their daughter, the child being as pretty and as best behaved that ever I saw of her age. Today I dine with Mr Tobin on a good roast beef before taking carriage with Ms Knight west to the coastal town of Cardigan, a googly spot and pleasant, where we shall reside during the week which is yet to come and where the players will play before the town burghers. My bags being packed, now all is set. Westward Ho!

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