A day in the life: thesp

'Jesus Christ, we need to sell more tickets': Callum Coghlan recalls a day in the life of a thesp

I awaken to the booming tones of Sir Ian McKellen as King Lear. An inspired choice for an alarm, I’m sure you’ll agree. I consider what to replace it with next week – maybe a bit of Anthony from Caesar?

I’m not going to lie, I am incredibly busy at the moment. For one play about a school in Wales, I’m designing a super edgy soundscape featuring actors singing over each other, nails scratching on chalkboards, and a flock of bleating sheep. I’m juggling this with my role as a psychopathic yet sympathetic North Korean spy, who is struggling to keep his homosexuality a secret from Kim Jong-un (it’s so relevant, you can’t miss it!) If that’s not enough, I’m also directing an experimental, naturalistic, contemporary, physical, gender-swapped Marlowe play, where everyone is naked above the waist for narrative reasons. And to sell tickets (Jesus Christ, we need to sell more tickets). I log onto Facebook and encourage everyone in the play to share the event NOW. And write something cool and edgy on it like “cOmE aNd sEe tHiS pLaY i’M iN! I pRoMiSe iT’s sIcK! pLuS nUdItY!!!!!!!” Maybe just “nUdItY” actually? Which reminds me: time to change my profile picture for the eighth time this term. The best drama hack ever is that my old profile picture gets so many more likes when I finish working on a play, and this means that I main
tain that crucial online popularity façade. Even that guy who was an extra in the Playhouse show I did last year is now one of my BFFs.

After a quick breakfast, I head straight over to the O’Reilly to rehearse for the final night of my dark re-imagining of Beatrix Potter’s classic story, The Tale of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle (the interpretative dance elements are just inspired), after which everyone will shower me with praise and affirm my amazing performance. Then I will
go for my termly pint of local craft ale with acquaintances that I only ever see when I nag them to come to my plays. The night draws to a close with a mad one with the cast in my house in Cowley, where we’ll be sure to ad-lib our favourite tunes from Phantom of the Opera, Hamilton, and High School Musical. I can’t wait to finish my degree – next stop RADA and then I’ll definitely be on track for a sick career in film!