We are, quite rightly, outgrowing our rehearsal room. Throughout this week we have looked in detail at the entire play in order to refine each moment. This process forces us to ask really specific questions, not only about character and intention but also about the performance spaces we will be working in on tour. The ground plan of the stage at the Nuffield, Southampton (our first venue) has been expertly rendered in coloured electrical tape on the floor of the rehearsal room by Rachel Presdee (Company Stage Manager) and Andy Hunt (Assistant Stage Manager) but having physical walls, curtains and other pieces of scenery will have a huge effect on the way the piece moves around. We are also keeping in mind the size of the various auditoria. We have to make sure that every audience member has a good view of the action onstage and also that each image or moment in the piece is clear as to its intention.
Oliver Kieran-Jones as Lysander and David Shaw-Parker as Egeus, in rehearsal for A Midsummer Night's Dream. Photo: Keith Pattison
Music has been a huge addition to our world this week. Every day new tracks arrive in the rehearsal room and would be tried out alongside the work that the actors are doing in the scene. David Shaw-Parker (who plays Egeus and Peter Quince) is an amazing guitarist and so Tom Mills (Composer and Sound Designer) has composed some music for him to play during the mechanicals play. David is now grabbing any time he can in the corners of the rehearsal room or in the production office to practise this new addition ready for our final run through.
Next week we begin the process of knitting all the technical elements together with the work we have been doing in the rehearsal room. It’s going to be a busy but exciting week.