Thursday, 3 September 2009

We're All In This Together

The Author rehearsals. Days 2 and 3.

Day 2 started with a run-through in the space and ended with a big takeaway supper at mine. Both important communal events.

And lots learnt. Mostly from the run through. (Although the take-outs from the take away were interesting too.)

Thanks to the brilliant and open-minded technicians at the Royal Court, we have our set, sound is set up and Matt our Lighting Designer has already given us a general lighting state to work in.

So we're avoiding that intense three days of technical rehearsal (after three weeks in the rehearsal room) when the 'putting it on' normally happens. Instead, we can try things out gradually.

There aren't a lot of music and light cues but the ones we have really count. A lot. So the technical progress builds alongside our understanding of the play.

Lighting fades, new pieces of music, pauses, cues and pace - all of these things feel so different in a rehearsal room. So to be in the theatre this early is terrific. And necessary for this play.

At the same time, we need to get out of the space too. So today, for Day 3 we sat round in the daylight of the rehearsal room and talked about some traditional things like characters and costume. But we didn't talk about them in a traditional way, or not at least in a way that I remember. The actors can approach what they wear in their own way. We talk together about it. All of us.

And we talk together too about character, (in this play more than most a fascinating topic because the character's names are deliberately the same as the actors. Lots of juicy conversations.)

And a lovely example of dialogue comes up...

The word elision is used.

Everyone nods and shares an assumed understanding.

And then someone says: "What does elision mean?"

The relief.

How lovely.

If you don't know, ask. (Rule One of Arrival Education's work.)

And then, this afternoon, Andy and I see the cast one on one. To check in. To see how they're doing. To see if there are any concerns. There aren't many. But we have some very useful and interesting conversations anyway.

So far, we're doing what we said we would do.

We're taking care. Of the play. Of ourselves.

And each other.

We're all in this together.

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