After almost a year of planning, we have finally started rehearsals for Base Layer. It has felt a bit strange to finally have things on their feet, but I am so excited to carry on working with this cast and crew for the next few weeks.
Saturday 2nd July was our very first rehearsal. We decided that it would be best to treat these initial gatherings as workshops rather than official structured rehearsals so that we could bond as a company and create material in a more relaxed setting. The rehearsal began with energetic games like ‘Keepy-uppy’ (technical term) and ‘The sun shines on…’ but we also worked on our ensemble skills with concentration games – hopefully by the time we perform we will be so used to being around each other that we will be much more successful at these!
The main bulk of time on Saturday was spent creating chair duets (inspired by Frantic Assembly) in pairs and trios, to give us some material to bounce off when we begin blocking scenes next week. We tried these out with lots of different tracks from various points in the piece and talked a lot about speed changes to create interest. It was a very successful rehearsal – although we forgot to break very much so we were all pretty brain-dead by the end: lesson for next week!
Sunday’s rehearsal began in a very similar way. The combination of actors was slightly different, so after warming up we dove back into chair duet mode and looked at entrances and exits to these short scenes. In order to move forward, we looked at how we could use these chair duets to portray a more specific type of character and ended up developing a basic idea for the opening movement sequence. It was all very exciting and hopefully the work we have done there will speed up the process of rehearsals later on.
During the second part of Sunday’s rehearsal we began making something concrete for one scene in the piece. This particular scene comes quite late on in the story, but at this stage we are just looking at getting the choreography down – character journey’s will come later. The sequence looked at physicalising the rational and irrational parts of someone’s mind and it was fantastic to see our vision coming to life. We worked very quickly and came away with our first movement sequence blocked – very comforting given the quick turn around on this project. I am so excited to carry on rehearsing next week – I can’t believe we get to do this all day every day!!!
As we go through the rehearsal process, we will be documenting our progress as often as we can (without giving away spoilers!) so make sure you are following us on twitter @theatreofminds as that you have liked our facebook page to stay completely up to date.
Tickets are selling very well, so make sure you get yours now before they sell out! Visit the Base Layer page on the blog and follow the link there to book.