Ten minutes later I gently close the auditorium doors behind me and stroll back out into the afternoon sunshine. Several expectant faces look up from their scripts in anticipation of their name being called to head into the inner sanctum.
“How did it go?” a female voice makes me jump. A striking brunette, slightly older than me is stood with a glass of wine in her hand. Dimples form in her cheeks and she motions for me to join her at the table.
“OK, I think?’ and smile, pleased that I may finally have a drinking companion and order myself a glass of white wine and sit down beside her.
“Have you done any plays previously here at the Theatre?” I politely enquire and take a sip of my chilled confidence booster. She shakes her head and a slight frown forms across her smooth brow “Almost, but not quite…”
Before I can ask what that sentence means her glass clinks against mine and she leans forwards, dimples in place once again ‘May the best Mrs Casper win’ and winks in my direction, and I smile at her good natured camaraderie, only slightly marred by the fact that we are in reality, hoping that the other ones acting skills are, in essence, crap.
“How did it go?” my husband enquires as I saunter back into the apartment an hour later, slightly rosy cheeked and tipsy, tottering uncertainly on my kitten heels. He pauses, cheese toastie half way to his mouth and shakes his head. He knows me too well. I love auditions. The adrenalin, the unknown, the fact that I have only one chance to make a first impression, waiting for the phone to ring, if it rings at all… It’s like being a teenager all over again, minus the acne and love bites.
“OK I think?” and then my phone rings… caller unknown.
Grabbing it I put it onto speaker and motion for my husband to be quiet.
Before I’ve even had time to perfect my Judy Dench inspired acceptance speech a familiar voice echoes down the line.
“Mum, it’s me, I’m absolutely knackered, I’m on their phone, I’ve lost my charger, we’ve been camping in the woods the last 2 nights, almost got eaten by a wild boar, Then we went swimming in the lake in our undies, anyway, the course has finished, can I have a penknife now? Come and get me and bring a KFC, I’m famished, bye!!”
Without having breathed one solitary word I replace the phone back on the table. Looking towards Brian I shrug my shoulders and he replies with a wag of his tail anticipating a tennis ball appearing from behind my ear or failing that, a digestive from up my sleeve.
Heading out into the evening sun we spend 15 minutes trying to remember where we parked the Jeep then the following 30 minutes trying to get the vehicle started. The engine is as flat as a supermodels chest and I can feel the first sign of panic starting to set in, imagining my son, patience not being one of his virtues, foraging in the forest in search of the lesser spotted chicken dipper. Finally, we manage to flag someone down with a set of jump leads and the neglected engine finally roars into life. Looking beside me I notice Brian has found a disregarded packet of monster munch and is currently sporting a pickled onion flavoured food bag on his snout. Kneeling down I pull the crisp wrapper off his face and shove him into the car. Sweat trickles down my back and I my stomach grumbles in protest at its lack of contents. A phone suddenly starts to ring. My bag is jammed under the car seat and as I pull it out, the contents go flying around the jeeps interior, all apart from my favourite lip gloss which makes its escape out the open window, seeking a new life in the Alhaurin countryside.
The phone goes silent then immediately starts to ring again and I grab it, knowing full well it will be my son asking why he hasn’t been picked up yet. Wiping the sweat of my brow I press the answer button
“Hold on, we’re bloody coming, your dads got a flat battery and Brians snorted that much MSG his eyes are rotating faster than a fairground Waltzer. Have you had a wash at all this week or am I going to have to hose you down before you step foot back into civilisation…?”
Pausing for breath I wait for my sons reply but an all too familiar theatrical male voice finally cuts through the silence instead “I take it that’s a yes then to playing Mrs Casper?”
To be continued – Episode 21
A New Wife in the Sun, as featured in The Olive Press, is available for proof reading, wedding speeches, radio presenting and anything that involves not having to smile at people for any amount of time.