Today we rehearsed in the rehearsal room. An odd idea.
The truth is that it's what you usually do - you only get to move into the theatre two or three days before you open.
You add the lights, the music and the physical dimension of a stage and an auditorium just 48 hours sometimes before you let an audience in.
Not in The Author.
We've been in the theatre since Day 1.
We've run it before we've rehearsed it. We've had audiences in before we've rehearsed it. We've had lights before we know what we want from the lights. Same with the music. We're building it all in together.
And even when we've just been talking about the play, without lights, audience and music, we've opened the windows of the theatre upstairs at the Royal Court, let in the sunshine and had the genteel rumble of the Sloane Square traffic as an underscore to our work.
But this week, we're working in detail and we're working in daylight. So we're in the rehearsal room, which has a HUGE window (that wasn't designed to open, thanks Mr or Mrs architect).
And there's no sign of my headache (which I get whenever we're in the theatre.)
And we have good, open, honest dialogue about the play.
We work through the play, unit by unit.
Some units are a few pages long.
Some last just two or three lines.
Some are just a stage direction long...
Lots of breakthroughs. Lots of presents.
The present of each character's moment of talking.
The present of a group of people being in a space together.
And the present of an audience member - and whatever they're thinking and feeling at any given moment.
And... the present of late summer sunshine.