After a fun and playful rehearsal period, a blissfully easy tech and a great preview run, Wild Honey opened last night. Wild Honey is a Chekhovian farce – the play is Michael Frayne’s adaptation of a Chekhov manuscript discovered from his earliest works. Originally Wild Honey was six hours in length, a sprawling epic with too many characters and stories. Frayne took the meat of it and trimmed it down to a funny and poignant farce. Rehearsing this show and then opening it up to an audience has probably presented the greatest change I’ve ever experienced on a show from dress to preview. In true Chekhov style, the stakes are high, the drama is tense, and characters spout lines like “is this ruin, or is this happiness?” And then Frayne takes over – doors slam, identities are mistaken, and the show runs at breakneck speed! Now with an audience, the moment when they’re laughing the hardest is usually the moment when someone’s life just got ruined. It takes a lot of focus and control to negotiate emotional honesty and comic timing all at once, but our company is more than up to it. I’m so proud of my castmates, and I know it’s gonna be a great run.
Did I mention we love our director, Brian Cochrane? Here’s an outtake from our photo shoot with Tim Matheson.
So, are you sold yet? Please come see Wild Honey! Tickets and details can be found here.