Corpsing. It happens to the most experienced actors, so why shouldn’t it happen to those of us who are new to it all? That split second when the steely stare of the Queen of Narnia blinks and the stern set lip twitches into a smirk. Fortunately I bit the inside of my cheeks until they almost bled, which stopped the emerging guffaw in its tracks, but it was a close thing.
There I was, sitting in my sledge, scaring snotty little Edmund Pevensie half to death with threats and queenly exclamations and telling my good and faithful wolf servant Maugrim to go and do something evil, when he responded with a Spoonerism.
Looking me in the eye, the growling wolf declared he would search for the Taun Fumnus, as opposed to the Faun Tumnus. How funny was that? At that moment, it was the funniest thing I had ever heard in my entire life. A Taun? <snigger> A Taun called Fumnus? <ha ha ha>. There was a pregnant pause as my chuckle muscles prepared for action, I could feel them quivering and twitching. I wanted to burst into a great big belly laugh, roll over in the sledge and shake my legs in the air, as any self-respecting Queen in robes and furs would do in such circumstances. Maugrim of course was far too professional to snigger, though I did see a flash of amusement cross his muzzle before he growled, presumably to mask his Muttley-like titter.
It was a close thing, but I did manage not to corpse and in hindsight it wan’t that funny, it was just in the moment. But with the sold-out performances of The Narnia Experience starting for real today, I’m taking no risks as I certainly don’t want to let the side of evil down. I’ve fitted a sharp pin to the end of my wand so I can stab myself in the leg if the Taun Fumnus rears his goaty head again. The pain should wipe any smile from my mouth.
Final dress rehearsals went well, though I’d run a nice muddy cross country beforehand and had remembered a complete change of clothes….apart from my white top to go under the witchy dress. So I was Sporty Queen in my fetching and rather sweaty and muddy Eccleshill Road Runners top. I don’t think anyone noticed……