Day one of rehearsals. We're still not completely cast and there's still some way to go on the script, but today the director and two of the cast and me rocked up at the Riverside studios in Hammersmith to get things underway. And we managed to make a major and bold casting choice, Felix Yusupov is going to be played by a woman. I thought this was a crazy idea when it was first mooted, but the more I thought about it the more I realised that it was the right choice. He was a very feminine and pretty man and the male actors we'd been considering were not really physically right. But with a woman (and a fine actor, we will be releasing names later in the week when it's all cast) you get the delicacy required. Felix Yusupov will still be a man, of course, but I love the possibilities that this raises.
And how exciting to have some of the play up and off the page and being read out and performed. It's really happening. There's no going back. At least it would cost a lot of money to cancel it now. Probably not as money as it's ultimately going to lose. But there is more honour in blowing the money and doing the play than walking away. And after the pain I've already been through giving birth to this fucker (with plenty more to come this week), I am not going to let this defeat me. Only death can stop me now (and with the workload and stress that's not inconceivable). "I Killed Rasputin Killed Me" could be next year's play. With the added bonus that I won't have to write it. Man, I hope people like it. This is by far the hardest job I've had to do for a long time.
No gig tonight, so I worked into the night. How can it not be finished yet? I think I have elves that are visiting me to undo some of my work each nighttime.