It’s a cold November night. The wind (OK… cars) are whistling by outside as the rain hits the window pane. I’m tucked up under a duvet watching old episodes of Most Haunted…
Why? Apart from not being the worst way to while away a Monday evening, I’m doing my research and learning the ropes of the psychic world from the one and only Derek Acorah (warning… may contain sarcasm).
Indeed, I am having a cheeky watch as I am enjoying my journey into discovering Felicia Dantine – the character I play in Paul Rudnick’s unapologetically silly play I Hate Hamlet.
Felicia Dantine is a realtor who places Andrew Rally in John Barrymore’s old apartment. When she isn’t dominating the world of real estate, Felicia enters a preconscious state so she can talk to spirits… well, just her mum.
Felicia is described as a no-nonsense, eccentric, imposing, and gregarious character born and raised in New York with an accompanying twonk to her voice.
So… nothing like me at all then (well, I may describe myself with the above superlatives after a bevvy of booze) but that’s the main reason you want to get on stage right? Step into someone else’s shoes and forget about you for a while. Brilliant. So, although daunting, the challenge to discover Felicia has been a great one – and it’s still ongoing.
Character Mapping with the cast at one rehearsal helped to flesh out the bones of them all and starting my development of Felicia’s story, stance and style. The main thing being worked on by me is the New York accent – much to my boyfriend’s dismay as I continually exclaim, “Gawd, I love Cowaffee” instead of my usual, “Mmmm, nice brew”.
We’ve had our first act stumble through – or more specifically for me a sniffle through with a lovely dose of man flu – which was exciting and went great. It was lovely to see how the other scenes are flourishing. Half of our whole is there, now we polish, preen and perfect!
Now… back to Felicia’s past time of psychic ability… I wonder if I can convince my cast mates to come down to Edinburgh’s famous vaults with me to see if I can conjure up a spirit or two…