Last night was Opening Night/Press Night of “Alls Well That Ends Well” at the RSC. I loved it and I was super proud of Sam! His face is all over the program. (Should you go and buy one.)
The best part of big openings is the party the theatre throws afterward. Unfortunately, I enjoyed this one a little bit too much. And I’m paying for it today. I even brought my camera last night to take some snaps to do a lovely post about Press Nights and not a single picture ended up being taken. Probably for the best. We celebrated like freshmen boys at a frat initiation and boy do I regret it now. Actually, I started to regret it at about 3 am.
I command it!
This post is a little self-serving since Sam and I are both actors (him being far more successful at it too at the moment.) But if you are in England, you need to go to see some theatre. England has some of the best venues in the world with something on for everyone. You can see big lavish musicals on the West End; the classics in places the National, the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the Globe; and amazing new pieces at places like the Royal Court. Not to mention there are some incredible fringe theatres like Theatre503 and the Finborough.
I posted some pictures on instagram a few nights ago when it was the first preview performance of “Alls Well That Ends Well” at the RSC and I got some questions from readers such as “What exactly is “the first preview?”
So let me try to differentiate some of seemingly interchangeable terms about theatre openings for you. (This is for England only, American theatre operates under a slightly different system.)
First Preview– It’s the first night of the preview period. That means that tickets are sold for these shows to audience members but the cast is usually still rehearsing during the day, tweaking the show and making cuts. Press are asked not to review shows while they are in preview because the show is subject to change up until (and occasionally after) opening night.
Opening Night– The official opening night of the show, sometimes after a period of preview performances. This night is most often, but not always the same night as press night.
Press Night- Reviewers from various journals, newspapers and websites are invited to this industry driven night. Most reviews follow soon after press night. There’s usually a do with free food and drinks afterwards for industry, cast, hangers-on, etc.
Now I’m going to leave you and hide in bed some more. Maybe eating McDonald’s round 2 later if Sam doesn’t shame me out of it.
If you have any surefire hangover busters send them my way.