Week 4 - Rendering
In Week 4, the play becomes whole. Jeremy continues to calibrate the production, but now in its entirety. We stitch the scenes together, pulling out different story threads and weaving in new, darker layers, allowing the extremities in the dramatic shifts to intensify. Jeremy notes the actors on the psychological “transactions” of each moment - we are now so far in that even the smallest physical signal becomes vital. The transitions, jumps in time and evolutions in character all become more fluent as we run the play. Each day, new faces from the creative and administrative team show up, providing us first audiences to test the work on. We track with precision where certain plot points are revealed to try and keep the storytelling on track.
New details are added - details as small as the character’s etiquette or props which support character choice and dramaturgy, and as big as new connections we’ve found in the text. Costume and props appear reappear throughout the week, as they’re tested and tried. We feel like the play - the whole production - now exists.
On Thursday, the rehearsal room becomes a technological playground. Video designer Luke Halls hooks up various pieces of technology, scans actors faces, and we play around with mixing live action and recording. Wires, screens, projectors and speakers are littered around the rehearsal room, producing moments of theatrical wizardry. The actors start to subtly absorb these new elements into their thinking - a look flashed here, a new given-circumstance there.
Friday is big final run. Key people from the Royal Court and Headlong come to watch, including a couple of staff members who don’t know the full plot. The cast leap into the show - at first nervous, we then go at full throttle, Jeremy scribbling thoughts throughout. The audience gasp at the right moments and after, linger in the room to debate and discuss. We take this as a good sign…and collectively agree, it’s time for tech week.