Ed Barr-Sim’s Frost/Nixon rehearsal diary: Part Three – Accepting the Facts

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ed barr sim

Opening night is now only a week and a half away: its desired imminence and imminent nature are both causes for concern. The actual acting and rehearsing bit has slightly slowed down – and how could it not in amongst the waves of promotion (bizarre, awkward and brilliant) and more particularly in amongst the tech-angst. This is going to be a brilliant production with loads of lights and cameras and all manners of gadget fun, but *insert expletive* there’s a lot that can go wrong. For each pretty moment where you go ‘oh that was lovely wasn’t it, lovely’, there are a near infinite number of other, painful scenarios that could develop so easily, from the priceless speakers precariously placed on a tiny table or the thousands of buttons that have to be pressed in the correct sequence. And if one of them goes wrong then everything will crumble! Well, maybe I’ve exaggerated a bit; I’m sure it’ll be fine. I’m just scared by everything that shouldn’t happen.

All that screaming aside, it is proving to be a great laugh. We are ahead of schedule and everything’s in place and I’m starting to think people will actually enjoy this. Plays also make most sense in their entirety, like cakes. You wouldn’t have just some flour. (I hope not!) We came together to bake a cake, bringing the ingredients, getting it to rise. We’re all baking mad, and that’s a quality I look for in Madeira friends. Staring through the oven and trying not to think too much about how baking-ly delicious this bake is going to be because we don’t want to over-bake our mark. What is for certain is that baking gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside; you could describe it
as ‘baked’. That’s not to say that a bake is only bake-sty when it’s baked; what about the baking mixture?! Oh yes, the bake-xture! Sweet and bake and so bake for you —- uh, sorry, miles away there. (I wonder what my shrink will make of that).

In other news… I’ve started to notice a strange influence of David in my life. I’ve noticed it with a few characters in the past: I once was playing a hopeless/pathetic, clumsy man whose daughters put chilli in his snuff etc and for a week or so around the show I could not walk past a bucket without falling in it. I once played a lawyer and found some of my friends asking me for advice. Well, David has spoken to me as well, guided me, and whilst I cannot begin to boast his ‘playboy reputation’…. let’s just say things are going a lot more smoothly, and my flirting isn’t so painfully awkward as it once was.

PHOTO / Frost/Nixon

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