This week is Tech Week. Monday is a travel day, and I put it off until the last minute because I hate packing. I finally threw some stuff into a bag and trekked to St Pancras in time to be really early for my train to Sheffield. The entire creative team is housed on a block of corporate flats. I arrive and instantly feel like Hugh Grant. My place has the feel of a bachelor pad with a nice big comfy bed and leather sofas. My neighbours on either side are director Jeremy and designer Mike, and the close proximity is really handy for late night or early morning note sessions. During the busy technical rehearsal week and preview period, the work day stretches from first thing in the morning to late at night.
The start of week four begins with the preparations to move to Sheffield. Production manager Cath and her team have already begun the move and a lot of the preparations in the theatre are already taking place. The “Get in” is happening over the course of this week. This is special time for the crew and production management team to work on stage while the actors and creative team aren’t in the space. This will involve a lot of building, drilling, and people up ladders focusing lights. This week is spent building the set precisely so that the mark up that we are using in rehearsals translates exactly to the stage. They build the floor and the truss, and then rig all the lights and speakers for the sound. The dressing rooms are prepped and waiting for their new inhabitants.
This week has flown by. The second week ended with elation and giddiness after we finished a run through of the entire play. Now, everyone has a new focus and they are ready to go back and find more detail. Morale is good and the actors are working without their scripts in hand. I am acting as a second pair of eyes for Jeremy, moving from chair to chair to watch scenes from each side.
This week we have been discovering how this play fits in to the Crucible’s unique stage. It is a thrust stage and therefore we are playing to audience on three sides. In our rehearsal room our stage management team have provided a mark-up of the stage, furniture and props. What is great about the design is that we have three moving blinds and an LED screen upstage which give us great flexibility to create the various locations the play requires, quickly and easily.