Saturday 16th July

Show Day Number 1!!

After a morning of organising things and putting the finishing touches to the event, we met the cast at 12 noon at the Trestle Arts Base for performance number one. The first part of the day was spent sorting out a few minor things that we picked up on in the dress rehearsal. We had to make sure everything was spaced properly on the stage and we ran some of the more complicated sections to make sure they were as secure as possible. It was a couple of hours dedicated to making the actors comfortable with everything they were doing.

We may have also got something stuck up on the ceiling… this turned into quite a team building exercise if I’m honest!

paper on the ceiling

Inventive!!

The crew arrived at about 2pm, and then we spent some time solidifying all of the technical transitions. Some of the sound volumes needed to be adjusted to allow people to speak over the top of them, and we focused on a couple of lighting changes to make the whole thing flow smoothly. Hannah and Ellie were up in the box doing their thing, I was down on the floor shouting up to them at various points and the actors skipped the middle of the scenes and jumped from one end to the other. It was definitely worth doing because it all felt nicely under control by the end.

With rehearsals done for the day, we had to make the theatre space ready for the performance. The exact number of chairs were set out, props positioned, floors swept and dressing rooms filled. We also had to find some black material to cover the glass panels on either side of the stage, because with the stage lights on they act like mirrors and seeing your reflection when on stage is really not ideal! Everyone worked very efficiently together and we were ready in no time!

By now it was about 4:15 pm, so we took an hour and a bit to sit outside and chill before building up to showtime. Pizza was ordered, tracked and eaten; snapchats were sent to try and sell the last few tickets, and then it was time to warm up. Some vocal and physical exercises, and a tongue twister version of the classic Zip Zap Boing made us all very lively, but we managed to calm the room with our favourite concentration game by the time 6:30pm rolled around.

Almost there! The cast went off into the dressing rooms to focus and prepare, and the front of house team set up ready for the audience to arrive. It was very exciting but also very nerve-wracking waiting for the curtain to go up (metaphorically as there wasn’t an actual curtain). We had an audience of 79 after some tickets had been sold on the door, which was fantastic and filled the auditorium to give the actors a brilliant atmosphere to work with.

What an evening it was?! Watching the beginning of the piece I was pretty nervous, but as the actors showed just what they were made of, I began to relax and enjoy watching what we had created. There were some fantastic performances, and all of the cast members really responded to the audience and upped their game from the runs we had done in rehearsal. I was so proud of every single one of them!

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Photos taken by Katie Walton

The response to the piece was better than we ever could have expected. Thank you so much to everyone who came to watch on Saturday night – you were a fantastic audience who supported us from beginning to end. The reach that this project has had is amazing: there were definitely more people in the audience who I didn’t know personally than I imagined, and we are all so grateful that you came out to help us support Young Minds and tell a very important story.

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With another performance on Thursday, we are back in rehearsals today in the new space re-configuring the piece for a different audience layout. Everyone seems so fired up after Saturday night. I am so proud of what we are doing for such a good cause, and so grateful that people have been so supportive and engaged with what we are doing. Thank you! xx

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