Arriving last Sunday to be greeted by a near-empty house, with only two other of my six housemates having moved in, my parents and I soon set about adding to its homeliness, carrying in and packing away a full carload of stuff – a challenge heightened by my new room’s location at the top of a three-storey house!
Home sweet home for the next year, and maybe beyond!
Once everything had been put in its preliminary place, and the wardrobe was full to bursting with jeans, shirts and fancy dress, there was just about enough time for a pre-closing time trolley dash through the local supermarket to stock up on the essentials – and, as my parents offered to buy, some of the not-so-essentials too! Soon enough, though, I was once again waving them goodbye, and all the responsibilities of self-maintenance fell on my shoulders. Doing so made me reminisce about the same event this time last year, but as I wrote last time, an incredible amount has changed since then, reminding me just how fortunate I am to be leading such a rich double life, with friends, homes and memories both North and South.
And so, with complete independence reclaimed, and no degree to focus on for the next fortnight, I opted to make the most of the situation… and promptly went straight to bed! Well, it is a long journey!
However, I was up the next morning to begin daily rehearsals for Great Expectations, the next show I’m involved in with the Students’ Union Theatre Group. With performances in November (or as our director reminded us this morning: only seven weeks away!) and the adaptation we’ll perform fast-paced and dynamic (there are something like 50 scenes!), I feel confident in saying we’ve had a bright start to the rehearsal process as there’s already some brilliant characterisation and movement on display from everybody, a real credit to the directorial team.
The classic drama play read-through – and the classic drama circle!
Furthermore, as with any show, we’ve spent a lot of time getting to know one another’s names and faces, both through playing games, and also being out and about. This helps massively in bringing together a large variety of personalities and interests into a formidable team unit, and you do find over time that, when you’re lacking energy or motivation in such a lengthy process as rehearsing a play, you frequently rely on your fellow cast and crew members to pick you up again. Plus, it’s amazing how easy it is to relax around people you’ve only just met when you’ve been asked to stare directly into their eyes for two minutes whilst practising your ‘corpsing’ (the act of not breaking character) – it’s guaranteed to make you laugh, even though you know you shouldn’t!
And this is just the warm-up!
It really is astounding just how talented yet humble members of the cast, and the society as a whole, are, and acting alongside them inspires you to do your best to raise your performance. Indeed, not one to turn down a challenge, other members of the Group are also putting on Macbeth, not exactly an easy play, at the end of October, with only five or six weeks’ worth of rehearsal behind them. So be you a theatrical Shakespearean and Dickensian veteran or novice, it would mean a lot to us all if you could pop along and see the end result; both shows should, we hope, be spectacular.
As for the new house, despite some initial problems with a malfunctioning boiler (although luckily only one of the showers was affected), the place is starting to feel much more like home, particularly as rooms have slowly filled and dirty plates have mounted on the kitchen side. The only component we’re all majorly missing at the moment is the Internet; it’s being installed in early October, which somehow feels light years away! Luckily we’ve all been able to make use of the excellent Wi-Fi connectivity on campus and the numerous workstations in the library (or, in my case, the Zepler Building’s laboratories), ensuring none of us have been too out of touch with the rest of the world.
Living with the same people as I did in halls last year is great in that we already know one another’s domestic habits (I’m a serial freezer stocker and occasional washing-up procrastinator), but we’ve also been lucky enough to add a couple of friendly other people to the mix to freshen things up. It’s going to be great to get to know them better as we induct them into the lifestyle of late-night discussions in the lounge (for example, last year we had an excellent GCSE Biology revision session!) and frequent attempts to out-do one another in the dancing stakes. The previous tenants’ decision to leave behind a complete set of Monopoly in our lounge area can only be considered a huge bonus!
So things have picked up just as I remember they left off: busy. If the year promises to be anywhere near as packed and enjoyable as this previous week has been, then I can’t wait for it to fully kick off!