When the time came, I never suspected it would be as awkward as I imagined.
I was in a play, and in a scene with Gladys Jones when she forgot her lines.
It was opening night. The theatre was packed. There had been great hype about the play, you could cut the audiences expectations with a knife.
But in the scene where Gladys’s character, Isabelle was to hold me in grief over my child being missing in the war, Gladys froze.
The look on her face was terrifying for me, as I knew immediately what it meant. I wasn’t able to save her as my lines fed off hers.
For a minute we froze, looking at each other, me mouthing her lines in the vain hope she would remember. We’d never had this happen in rehearsal, so I was as surprised as she was.
I wasn’t prepared for this, so I jumped ten lines to where Isabelle holds me. With my around her, I whispered in her ear the next line. She looked at me in bewilderment, backed away and fled the stage.
The audience I sense suspected something, as there was as much an awkward silence from them as there was upon the stage.
Somehow I found myself centre stage, staring into the audience, my mind going a hundred miles an hour thinking, “How do I get out of this?”
To save myself, Gladys and the entire production I combined the last two lines of the scene and gracefully exited the stage.
Everyone in attendance from the actors to the audience and crew squirmed in the awkwardness of the moment.