"It’s ‘back to school’ and a real-life rehearsal room for us!" - Extra Time Rehearsal Blog Week 1

By actor Danny Hendrix

“They think it’s all over”- Wolstenholme, 1966 World Cup final, Wembley.

Who’d have thought that 55 years after this legendary declaration, these words would echo the very thoughts of artists, actors, and theatre makers across the globe. Because it’s true- for a moment there we really did think it was all over.

But as the world slowly finds its feet and parents and children slip back into the routine at that first bell of a new term - it’s ‘back to school’ and a real-life rehearsal room for us: the cast of Extra Time

As the automatic doors to the foyer of Derby Theatre slid open on the first day of rehearsals, I would be lying if I said that I had left my bag of nerves at home. I was nervous. As I climbed the winding stairs to the upper foyer, I could hear the swell of voices. Voices of other people. Other people here for the same reason as me - the meet and greet. Imagine: after a year of lockdowns and isolations and keeping socially distant, I was in a space with other human beings…in the flesh and not on a computer screen. Not once did we need to tell people they were on mute. Bliss.

Of course, things weren’t quite ‘back to normal’ as we went round and introduced ourselves through masked faces, but the clear visors still meant we could enjoy the enthusiastic smiles of our future company members. After introductions and costume measurements and the breath-taking model box presentation (we got to see a miniature version of the incredible set design by Emily Bestow - it’s worth getting tickets just for that alone) we headed over to the rehearsal rooms - our new home for the next four weeks.

The cast of Extra Time at the Meet and Greet

I’d say for an actor, a key component of the job is trust - being able to trust in your own skills and abilities, but also trust in the people you work with. Trust and togetherness. So collectively as an ensemble (led by director Sarah Brigham and movement directors Holly Irving and Aishwarya Deshpande) we plunged headfirst into building up the trust and togetherness of the company.

Honestly, I think everyone in every job should do these kinds of exercises in working as a team and freeing your body and mind - removing any creative blocks because since day one, we’ve been able to find our own bonds and rhythms as a company that are allowing us to decide and express openly and explore so many wonderfully interesting avenues and ideas that we are beyond excited to share with the community. 

And this is one of the main joys of Extra Time. Although it is based around Derby County’s 1946 FA cup win, there is no escaping the beating heart of the piece - the community. Not only in the first week of rehearsals have we been able to relish in the pride rousing Celebration of Jamie Thrasivoulou words, but members of the company have been out into the community talking to passionate Derby County fans and hearing their personal stories and about their relationships with the rams! 

“They think it’s all Over. It is now!!” - LIVE THEATRE IS BACK.

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