To see our Rehearsal Video Diaries, visit the Our Work page of the blog.
Monday 5th September 2016
With a bonus performance of Base Layer on Saturday, this was the first rehearsal day after the summer holidays. During the day, Lucy and I popped in to Beaumont to pick up the rostra for the set and then met the cast and crew at the Abbey Theatre at 6pm.
Tina, the Theatre Manager at the Abbey, was there to welcome us and sort us out in the space. I had a small discussion with Paul who was helping us out with the technical side of things, and then promptly passed over that conversation to Alex and Joe on the lighting team. The boys then worked very hard with Paul all evening sorting us out with lighting angles etc – in fact they were “the most productive we have been… ever!” according to Joe. So we really appreciate the team we have got there.
As soon as the actors had all arrived, we set to work adjusting the performance for the new configuration. It was lovely to see everyone again and pick up where we left off. There were several giggling fits as we tried to remember how everything had fitted together before. I was very impressed with how everyone had remembered their lines, but fitting that in with the chair duets at the beginning of the piece proved a little challenging! It was a great first rehearsal and we pretty much covered half the piece in the three hours that we had in the space.
Tuesday 6th September 2016
24 hours later, we were back in the studio rehearsing again. Having made it to the half way point (ish) the day before, we spent the rehearsal going over the second half of the performance. Some of the movement sequences took some time to adjust to the new space – having the audience in an L configuration is very different from the spaces we have performed in so far and it makes sight lines a little trickier. Lots of things happen on the diagonal now, and we’ve had to be careful to make sure we still use the whole space.
When we reached the end of the piece, we then went through our ‘chair choreography’. When not on stage the actors sit on chairs within the audience to create a stronger connection between them, so for 8 actors we have 8 spare chairs in the audience. We had to work our way through each person’s journey on stage and work out which chair they needed to be sat in at which point. This actually proved easier than when we were doing the same thing for the Beaumont performance in July because most people have the same chair for the whole production. Now, we have just one more rehearsal which will mostly be focused on the technical side of things before show day on Saturday.
Our performance day (10th September 2016) is also World Suicide Prevention Day, so we hope that you will be able to help us raise awareness by attending the performance – given that our work is centred around youth mental health difficulties. Tickets are available on the Abbey Theatre’s website and all the money raised will be donated to Young Minds. we hope to see you there.