Today was the ninth day of rehearsals in a row for Base Layer – the cast and crew are all working so hard to get this on its feet! This time last week, we had only just started and gotten just one movement sequence under our belts.
Most of our rehearsals have taken place in the drama studios at Beaumont School. We have been arriving at between 9am and 11am each day and working through until 5 or 6 in the evening. These are quite long days so we had to learn to take substantial breaks and go outside for a while or we would lose our energy and creativity. There has been blood, sweat and tears (all quite literally!) and spending every day with each other has really helped us to bond as a company – something that I think will really come across in the performance next week.
The rehearsal schedule has been pretty complicated – and I tend to update it every couple of days – because not everyone is available all the time (some people still have to go to school everyday!) but we have managed to make it work for us things have pretty much gone to plan. On Monday through to Thursday, we were setting out the whole piece and working on each section in turn. The audience layout is going to be slightly different for the two performances due to the differences in the performance space, so we decided to block everything for the Beaumont show and then change everything for the Trestle show afterwards.
At 3pm on Friday we started our first full run of Base Layer. Joe from the lighting team and the stage manager Hannah were both there to see what we had been working on and to get an idea of their roles in the whole production. I was fully expecting there to be moments that fell apart, because we hadn’t had time to look at many sections more than once, but the cast were so on it! Of course there is still a lot of work to be done, but for a first run through I was so impressed with what we had, and so excited by the way it all fitted together. It was also a nice moment for the cast to see what we had created when they weren’t in the rehearsal room.
It was so exciting to see everything coming into place after just one week of rehearsals – I am really enjoying working with this cast and crew (none of whom I have worked with in this context before). Having Katie and Francesca to help out with directing has been a bit of a lifesaver! They have lead rehearsals so that we could do things simultaneously and get through more stuff; written the script for one of the scenes; and given me more energy when they come to things fresh. Everyone on the project brings something unique to the rehearsal room. It is a lovely environment that we are working in, and although we will all be shattered by the end, it will totally be worth it.
Tickets are selling very steadily now for the remaining performance on Saturday 16th July at Trestle Arts Base, so make sure that you book now to come and see the culmination of hours of hard work from all involved. All the money from ticket sales will be donated to Young Minds – the UKs leading youth mental health organisation – so come and help us support a very important cause. Book your tickets here!