We’ve opened! We are open!

First night is always a bit nerve racking. You’ve been rehearsing without an audience for 3 weeks and then suddenly you’re under the arches in this powerful atmospheric magnified space called the Viaduct performing it in front of hundreds of people.

I tell you I don’t half panic during the day.  Some actors are absolutely fine. But me I’m a bit of a car crash.

Will the audience like it? What if I forget my lines? What if I let the whole team down? I need a coffee. It’s Barrie’s last show in the Viaduct! I can’t be rubbish! Maybe I should of took Maths instead of Drama at school. What was I thinking? I’m goner look at my lines!

The whole day! I’m behaving like this.

I usually eat an absolute feast but I haven’t eaten anything for tea except a slice of melon.

Then Ailsa says on the speaker ‘The Half’ and then the clock ticks, slowly, very slowly and then she calls ‘Beginners’ and then them butterflies are proper flying about in your belly.

‘Jim English your call to stage’

My palms start sweating. Them butterflies are now doing loopdaloops.

You walk through the door into the wings or in the Viaduct you’re in the arch.

Listen for the Que

My Que is ‘Rose Will You’

Barrie and Sarah Jane are acting on stage together and the audience are laughing.

Then Barrie says ‘Rose Will You’

That’s my Que!

That’s it!


Respond Jim!


Then I walk on and everything feels like slow motion, I cack myself for ten seconds and then after that I’m fine. I come off and think what was a panicking about all day? What an absolute idiot.

And that has happened every opening night I’ve ever done.