The roof of the gym resembles ship’s ribs, which seems fitting this year as the theme and location of this year’s Christmas Revels is aboard an immigrant ship bound for America sometime in the late 1800s.
The gym has the familiar quality of an old friend as we pull up our chairs to start shaping something thrilling — as magical for the audience as it will be for the company that comes together to form the show.
I actually got there late, having helmed a performance to celebrate the opening of the Orange Line Max line. The thrill of slipping into my seat at the back and looking over the old and new friends in the company was as strong as ever. There were some faces I missed of course: our rehearsal accompanist Michael Fox has retired after many years of devoted service, and other friends were likewise not in the group. But there were new people to get to know and many old friends with which to share the miseries of learning yet another language.
The emigrants in our story were facing the unfamiliar and frightening. Most had never ventured more than a few miles beyond their village. They were excited surely, and scared.
No matter how often I’ve sailed on this Revels ship, and it’s been more than a few times, there is still the element of the unfamiliar, excitement and a wee bit of terror. (Just a very wee bit which is a good thing I think.) Like the men and women we represent we’ll face whatever challenges lie ahead and make it to the farther shore.