Our final week of rehearsal has arrived. Where has the time gone! It's been fantastic seeing this great play take shape over the past few weeks.
For week five we have moved down to Chichester. We settled into our lovely rehearsal room and began to run the show. This is a crucial but also fragile part of the process. As the actors begin to see the whole shape of the play and their individual journeys within it, it takes a couple of goes for all the nuisances we found when rehearsing scenes in isolation to make appearances in the overall playing of the show. Playing moment-to-moment when you've only rehearsed scenes as bitesized chunks takes time, but once the whole through-line of the story is linked together, the show and the actors begin to fly, often finding new, exciting and instinctive moments within their role.
Jeremy's process has been inspiring. He cultivates an exciting, creative and collaborative rehearsal room. He makes everyone feel safe to experiment and explore, and all views are valid.
Jeremy paints a broad picture then over the rehearsal process he adds huge amounts of detail. With each rehearsal new layers are added and different discoveries made. It's like building a house - if the foundations are solid and secure, all the extra detail will fit beautifully and all the extra detail then makes the show extra special and clear.
Week five has been about that detail. After each run-through we collate a jobs list and work through them to refine and explore moments in the play that either need more exploration or moments that Jeremy has seen something he loves and wants to delve deeper into the actors choice. Once we've gone through the hit list of jobs, we run the play again, allowing the actors to work on their notes. This week we've also been joined by our band! Led by Jim Hustwit our fantastic MD, they sound absolutely stunning.
Our final rehearsal room run on Friday was the first time we invited guests to watch - members of the team at Chichester and Headlong, plus members of the team from wardrobe and other departments. It was great to hear their responses which help the actors to begin that journey from the rehearsal room to sharing the show with an audience.
Next week we begin our technical rehearsals as we move into the theatre. This is where we begin to incorporate all the other elements that go into making a show. We rehearse with all technical departments, so lighting, sound, wardrobe and wigs all have their first opportunities to rehearse the show. The next step - the audience!