Samantha Bell, one of the cast of Two Newcastles takes us through what she’s been up to in South Africa with Curious Monkey.
I’ve been in South Africa for a few days now so I just want to quickly bring you up to speed. We landed safe and sound in Johannesburg and spent two nights in a funky hostel, ate epic food, checked out the arts scene and just generally got a feel for the place.
On Tuesday we embarked on the three and a half hour journey to Newcastle KwaZulu Natal. We were absolutely buzzing, not just because we were getting to a new part of the country, not just because rehearsals were about to start and not just because we were going to some lovely new digs, but mostly because that night was the night we were going to be reunited with our South African friends. We all met up for a massive braai but little did we know that a mental storm was brewing. A storm that would have us seeing lightning like we’d never seen before and have water running through the electric system leaving us in complete darkness, well except for a few candles that were brought out. It was atmospheric to say the least.
First Day of Rehearsals
It was so great to be back together in a room again, being creative, being playful and having lengthy discussions and debates about religion, politics, history, discrimination, travel, love and everything that it means to be human.
The process had begun…
Second Day of Rehearsals
We checked in with each other to see where everyone’s heads were at, we did yoga, energiser games and then we did some singing. A song we wrote in Newcastle upon Tyne in 2016 and a new song that Schuppo wrote yesterday, he’s so clever! Everyone in the cast is musically gifted which can be intimidating at times but it feels so amazing to be part of it.
Then we did a major writing task. Automatic writing where you write non stop until you get told to finish, then you fold your paper and pass it on to the next person. This proved to be immensely rewarding exercise because some of the writing that came from it was just wonderfully beautiful and honest. We ended our rehearsing day by reading them all out.
Off home we went tonight and Ian made an absolutely lush veggie chilli and Alice made some seriously delish guacamole to compliment it. It was insanely good. We all sat outside to eat under the dark night and the stars. Instead another storm hit, blowing a hooley, throwing down hail stones and blasting out lightning bolts. The weather here is mad!