New member Danny Stones tells us about his first stage role with the Progressive Players in The Perfect Murder.
My theatre career can be said to be a series of happy accidents. In my first year of University I was asked to help out with Drama Society auditions, by reading in the other half of a scene. After the auditions, the Director looked at me and said “I’m going to be honest, I now can’t see anyone in that role but you.”
Over a decade later, my involvement in The Perfect Murder likewise came as a surprise.
Having only been a member of the Progressive Players since April, I attended the reading for The Perfect Murder purely to see how the group worked and to meet members. However, after reading a few scenes I found the story gripping and the characters that perfect mix of grounded and absurd that makes a role compelling. Despite having a very busy summer, I threw my hat into the ring and was delighted to be offered the role of Don.
I won’t say too much for fear of spoiling the plot of this twisty thriller, but Don is a character who, on paper comes across as a bit of a caricature. Working with Co-Directors Kathryn and Val, however, we were able to find the nuances and humanity in him which really made the part come to life.
The fabulous set, recreating an entire two-bedroom house on stage, is also a massive help in making the characters and their story feel real.
If you are still on the fence about seeing the show, here are some of my highlights from the rehearsal period (without context, to avoid spoilers): failing to pronounce Croatian words; chanting the Dambusters theme in unison; being upstaged by an airbed; conversations about the proper way to store handcuffs; and trawling Primark for brightly coloured matching underpants.
Being cast in my first play was a happy accident that turned into a great experience and a love of theatre. I hope that my accidental casting in The Perfect Murder will likewise lead to many wonderful experiences with the Progressive Players.