Structured showing off


“I thought I was really good at showing off, but I found larking around in an actressy fashion really challenging,” I exclaimed to Noel as I flounced in from the auditions. “W-e-l-l,”  he said, clearly choosing his words carefully. “You’re less structured and more of a free-flowing show-er-off-er.”

Yes, that was it, showing off to order. A tough ask, but I got into the swing of it as I stepped into the role of a psychopathic witch intent on keeping winter and year-round cold and snow across and land and, dammit, with no Christmas to cheer break the monotony of those long, dark nights. I was truly scary, I even scared myself.

The auditions were for an exciting piece of community theatre based on one of my favourite classics, CS Lewis’ allegorical work The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. This winter, the Narnia Experience will transform the shell of an old Leeds Church into the fantasy land inhabited by talking creatures, an untamed lion, a witch and found at the back of a wardrobe by four young evacuees.

The organisers appealed for no-experience-necessary enthusiastic volunteers to take part. They needed a lot of lions, witches and talking creatures to cover the three-a-day performances over a two-week period.

There were about 25 of us in the room, young and old with a high Anne ratio, there were three of us. We stood in a circle, shouted ‘zip’ and ‘zap’ to order, walked around pretending someone had given us a bunch of flowers, then that we’d walked in dog poo, just like another day at the office, apart from the flowers.

It was great fun, though even for a show-off like me it was outside my comfort zone when it came to some of the physical acting stuff. But by the time it came to taking on the persona of the White Witch, I was definitely into my stride. Of course, if I am invited to take a part, I could be anyone, even a wolf, though probably too tall for a dwarf.

There’s a few more auditions to go before the casting so I don’t expect to hear anything until July. In the meantime, I’ll keep with the free-flowing showing off.

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