Yesterday was very much a day for celebrating differences. With 4 combinations of actors, each playing of scene 8 has its own balance of humour and pathos. Working in this way acclimatises the cast to the instability of performance – they cannot get too comfortable with a particular way of playing the scene, but can trust each player. They know the characters and the shape of each scene, but the details of each moment shape new responses.
We rehearsed in the Green Room and on the set of Zest Theatre’s Gatecrash – the new environments for the rehearsals also creating new possibilities, familiarity and instability.
Aggi’s notes are below:
- Cast warmed up independently while John B and Aggi checked in
- Cast check in initially together
- John A watched scene … on vimeo and observed that his diction and movement needs more work
- John B observed that the show is looking great for where it is at the moment
- John B acknowledged that cast is rehearsing extra-curricular and asked the cast if they needed to rehearse more in opposite couples – Simon advised that he and Jo have seen each other less than him and Kate recently, and John A would rather that communication was good between the couples and they worked together on any bits that people were unsure of or unhappy of
- John B asked if the cast were happy with the tag team approach to direction over the last couple of weeks was ok with the cast? Simon is happy for anyone to take control and move rehearsals on to stop the cast getting bogged down in discussing minutae. John A agreed with the provision that Aggi and John B are on the same page when it comes to vision, and that John B has final say
- Discussion then led by Jo H into cast requiring reminders about certain actions within the script eg. Kissing etc. General discussion around actors needing certain stimluae to create specific emotion and for director/ dramaturg and cast to pick up on this
- John A – it’s like a landscape and finding different routes to Grantham
- Idea of using the stage directions as audio at the beginning of each scene to introduce… all cast liked this idea – discussion about multi-media aspects
- Cast splitting to work two with Aggi, two with John B – Kate and Simon with Aggi in green room and Jo and John A to go with John B on set.
Following this point, the rehearsal developed in two directions, with the cast splitting as described above to rehearse scene 8. Time was allocated for this and then the two groups merged after a set time for show and reflection on work done. This produced excellent reflection on work done for each groups, with principle conversations around noticing the difference between each grouping, with Simon noticing particularly that it was alright to not set in stone the actions for each scene and each coupling and this was a good way to work- accepting that it’s ok to do the same rough gestures and movements in the scenes with each Emma, but to be open to the fact that certain gestures and movements might not happen every time, and not to be surprised by this.
With this in mind, we continued the rest of the rehearsal – swapping couples so Aggi worked with Jo and Simon H and John B worked with John A and Kate revisting scene 8 with these different couplings. We then missed out showing this work to each other in favour of concentrating more on working on scene 9 which the cast felt was a priority. Aggi worked with Kate and John A on this, with John B working with Simon and Jo. Productive work was carried out on this, with Aggi, John A and Kate finding humour and drunkenness a useful catalyst for the scene in their rehearsal. Then both couples presented their work to each other – one straight after the other with no reflection in between. Reflection then happened after both pairings had been seen. All felt there were big strengths in both groupings, and John A and Aggi disagreed over the impetus for Emma to move after saying ‘I have to get back’ in Simon and Jo’s pairing. Thus demonstrating the multifaceted nature of these performances. John B noticed that this had been a rehearsal for noticing and accepting the differences between the groupings and the scenes, and making ourselves comfortable with this.
The rehearsal concluded with a production meeting, where bedgate was discussed and a conclusion reached and using different coloured bedding for delineating each scene was decided. Green = flat; Jerry’s study =black/brown; Venice=blue, Robert and Emma’s = white. Red checked table cloth for the Italian restaurant.
John B suggested we focus on set and furniture next week and people bring costumes if they want to but it not be the focus. Kate to research soft furnishings and cast to bring everything next week including bedding.
Sarah to send round props list and cast to bring bits they think might be suitable and bring next week. Aggi to bring kitchen table.