It’s getting to the stage where certain words are triggering monologues and wand waving in public, which to be honest, can be a little embarrassing. For everyone. Take the youngster who was innocently asking the shopkeeper for Turkish Delight.
“Turkish Delight?” I exclaimed in my head, waving my make-believe witch’s wand. “And if you thought I was going to give you Turkish Delight…?” My internal monologue stopped, from the look of the little boy, his mum, the shopkeeper, Noel and the stray dog that had wandered in, that little speech by the White Witch of Narnia wasn’t in my head, it was out loud. Very loud.
I haven’t done any line learning since I played the hapless Hilda in the church production of Spring and Port Wine more than 30 years ago and all I can remember of that was her aversion to fish because she was in the family way. So when I landed a part as the evil witch in The Narnia Experience I was amazed. I went to the auditions thinking I might be a tree, a talking tree of course, so was quite surprised to be chosen as the most evil character in the cast.
Now with three weeks to go until I don the witch’s black wig and pick up the wand for real, I’ve spent many hours of every day telling the cat to ‘Kneel before the Queen of Narnia” and telling Noel to go to the house of Mr and Mrs Beaver and ‘kill whatever you find there’. Neither paid any attention, such is the lot of an actress. I recorded all the parts on my phone, using different voices and play it back as I drive around, it’s worked so well that, like The Manchurian Candidate, whenever I hear a cue, I have to speak my lines, in character. Fortunately I’ve had no inclination to assassinate a politician.
The production is all day every day for two weeks, so there’s a dozen or so of us for each part and we’re all very different. The witch’s coven met on Sunday to share lines, wave a few wands, eat Turkish Delight and compare notes on our approaches. We range in age, size. experience and philosophy, though none of the others would admit to bursting into full witchy character in the sweet shop.