Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Staggering through

The first time of sewing bits together: we ran through the whole of Act I and just over half of Act II. Having spent the last two weeks (is that really all it is?) working through the show in fairly intensive sections, it was pleasing to see the first half of the story coming together in a cohesive manner. Not to mention actually seeing some of our fellow performers with whom one might not actually share a stage! (I particularly enjoyed John Hare's struggles with an old-fashioned camera that was - ex-script quote - "as drunk as I am"...)

Books were down to various degrees. I managed Act I reasonably well, but Act II has still to catch up - I didn't even attempt to put my book down for that, as it would have held up proceedings too much. My fellow wives managed most of the section with only a few prompts. James (Joe) has - very impressively - managed to get almost entirely off-book for that section, which this far before the show is no mean feat. (To be fair, the wives at least have had their scripts for a much shorter time than some of the men - we only discovered which part we were to play at the first readthrough!) And some members of the cast, such as Ben as Fred Dyson, have literally only just joined the cast in the last few days, so could hardly be expected to leave their scripts behind.

We are gradually introducing props - like John's recalcitrant camera - glasses, bottles, trays and the rest. All the usual delightful booby-traps. Not to mention the fact that they will hurry along our line-learning, as there's nothing like trying not to spill the port or break the glass while handling an A4-size script.

So here we are, two weeks out of six into the process (Wednesday 6 June was the first read-through; final dress rehearsal will be on Wednesday 18 July) and it's encouraging to see just how much of the play is already showing real signs of life.

Happily, I now have a brief breathing space: my next rehearsal isn't until Monday 25, which gives me a much-needed opportunity for working on lines. See you next week.

Ormonroyd and his inebriated camera

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