It was Bank Holiday Monday. So first day back is Tuesday. With a full day of rehearsals lost, we might have to make up some time in the evenings. Hull FC won the final at Wembley so Barrie is happy too!

I’m getting the train from Manchester to Halifax everyday while we rehearse. Halifax station is so pretty. It’s in the bottom of the valley and very picturesque.  Eureka’s next door, which every child in the North goes to on a school trip at least once. I know I slagged off Northern Rail in the first blog, but the ride along on the train through Hebden Bridge and Tod is a lovely way to start the day, as long as you’re moving at a steady speed and it’s not your first day of work!

Barrie’s not one for sitting round a table so straight away we were up on our feet ‘doing’. The first three days we completely blocked the whole play. Blake was with us during this time and made some changes and tweaks to the script.

We heard lots of new stories too from Barrie. I think the stories are my favourite bit. If Olivier forgot a line in a Shakespeare play, to keep the iambic pentameter rhythm he’d list off tube stations – ‘’Waterloo & Charing Cross!’’

We have then been going through each scene in more detail. Building and building each scene up. The language, the rhythm. I’m stressing every pronoun going. I’m surprised Barrie hasn’t gone mad! When you introduce something.

It’s not          the blue  sea
It’s                 the blue sea

When you say your line. Finish the line. Conclude the line. Climb up the stairs!

Jacky who plays both Marlene & Gwen keeps helping me and Jordan with our West Riding of Yorkshire accent. Booth who plays Ruddle has been helping too. Some sounds are very similar to East Riding of Yorkshire but others just totally different.  Its an hour away on the train! And the accent is so different! Jacky and Booth have both been saints!

Ailsa is ‘For Love Or Money’s’ DSM. She does everything. She’s your point of contact. She’s a machine. She liaises with Barrie and all the team. For me she tells me what I’m doing, what the rehearsal schedule is. Like Barrie she is in the rehearsal room throughout and this is the second time I’ve worked with Ailsa. She and Barrie create a lovely positive atmosphere in the room. If there’s a problem, she usually solves it. If you need help she will help you. Like if you needed two tickets for Saturday 18th November in Scarborough she’s the person to bribe/speak to?

Wednesday- We’re dancing in the play! I have two left feet! Bev who has helped with the movement and dancing on several Broadsides productions has come in to teach us the routine. We spend the morning doing that. I usually find dancing quite stressful but actually quite enjoyed it!

Conrad arrived to help with the music for the dance and then was gone again.

We all sang happy birthday to Sarah Jane!

Thursday- its the open day today, where the Friends of Northern Broadsides can come in and watch rehearsals. Blake’s come up to say a few words. He’s wearing these wooden mahogany weaved shoes, on any other person they’d look ridiculous on Blake they look cool as.

An Actress who has worked with Broadsides many times, Ishia Bennison, has come up too to talk about her involvement in the play. She was in an adaptation of ‘Turcaret’ years ago at the Orange Tree. Which is what ‘For Love or Money’ is an adaptation of.   It was Ishia who gave Barrie the idea of doing a new version with Blake.

We rehearsed some scenes and it was also brilliant to hear the audience’s reaction. You spend all day in the room saying it in front of the same people, you do forget how funny some moments are and how poignant it is in others too.

Kay’s (Production Manager) birthday as well – our Happy Birthday singing is getting better.

Two birthdays in two days. Barrie’s ordered in fish pakora, vegetable samosas and onion bhajis for everyone to eat after rehearsals.








Jim English