The Return of Red Skies

22 June 2021

Director of Red Skies Nicola Pollard had an inspiring first day of rehearsals on Monday...

The last time I wrote a blog for Eastern Angles I was reflecting on the loss of Red Skies, the 2020 spring tour. As you may know or remember, we played one show – to a handful of people – before Covid-19 closed us down. Now, just over fifteen months later, we’re back!

Red Skies cast and director pose for a photo on stage in the rehearsal room

I felt some trepidation in the run up to these rehearsals. This was our second attempt at staging the show this year, and with news of the virus ever changing, I wasn’t at all sure we would get to the Eastern Angles Centre. But, Monday morning, we all gathered together. Face masks, lateral flow testing, Track and Trace are now part of the order of the day, all unheard of when we last saw one another. For all four of the cast, this will be the first time they have performed in venues to live audiences since spring of last year. We’re all used to having periods of ‘rest’, but prior to last year such a gap for an entire cast would have been almost unheard of.  

I think during the day we were all finding our way, with the play, with each other, with being in a shared space. But beyond this, I got the feeling we all feel slightly different to how we did when we gathered for the first day of rehearsal in February 2020. (We’re all over a year older for a start!) Perhaps the pandemic has changed us in ways that we don’t yet fully understand.  

We worked steadily through Act 1, gently easing ourselves in. We had my usual rehearsal games to start, and a few tongue twisters at the top of the afternoon to stretch those articulators that have been under-utilised this past year. Come the end of the day, having found our way through Act 1 from beginning to end, there was a palpable sense of relief. We were in a room together again, speaking Ivan’s words and telling our story. Our characters can live and breathe once more. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to being able to share it with all of you, this time round.