Saddleworth Players

A view from a first time Player

Hello I’m Chris Morris, and The Cracked Pot is the first play I have been in with Saddleworth Players.

Walking in to rehearsals for a new production is always a little nerve-racking. Reading the script for the 1st time, stumbling over the lines, you naturally feel self-conscious. When it is with a new society this is somewhat more intensified, so I was glad that Alex Farkas would be there as I have worked with him previously in a couple of productions at Playhouse2 in Shaw and he is always fun to be around.

Playing Walter Bright (Clerk) to his Judge Adam means we get to work closely and it means a lot, knowing you can trust each other to deliver the lines consistently and he has page after page of long speeches, in a broad Yorkshire dialect. Suffice to say, I don't envy him the part!

The rest of the cast also deliver well-crafted performances at this early stage, some are already off-book! Note to self - 'you're going to have to up your game mate!'

Very quickly, however, I start to relax and start to enjoy what is a very funny script, already I am starting to wonder where the laughs are going to come (this can vary quite considerably between audiences) and make mental notes to pause before delivering the next line so as it doesn't 'get lost' in the laughter.

'So why do you do it?' is the question we get asked the most, why do we put ourselves through this process, repeatedly! 'The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd' is the glib response I always start with but there are numerous complex answers to this, so I’ll try and be as succinct as I can here.

We love the attention. There, I said it! Oh yes we do…., but not necessarily as ourselves. For me, spending 2 hours as someone else, 3 nights a week is a welcome break from, well, me frankly.

Next, I'd much rather spend this time working on something which is, by definition, staged and rehearsed rather than sit at home in front of the TV watching X Factor or some other such programme which passes itself off as 'reality' whilst filling time between the adverts.

Finally, Theatre is a shared experience. There is a reaction that can occur between the cast and an audience that give a tremendous 'buzz' when the conditions are right. This is something I feel is being lost with the advent of 'social media', we are becoming far too insular. Here you are required to turn off your phone (or at least put it on silent please)

There is a need for theatre, and indeed all art which stretches back to the dawn of civilisation, where we try to make sense of our own existence and humanity, where we can explore questions that are not always seemly in polite society.

I can now hear in my head, one of my best friends saying, 'You amateur luvvies take it all so seriously'.

Yes we do and I make no apology for it!

For tickets to see Chris in The Cracked Pot by Saddleworth Players 30th January – 6th February book online.

Chris Morris, Jan 21, 2016