DAY 17: one week to go.
Knuckling down now; even tempo, plotting transitions between scenes - which are crucial to the rhythm and emotional tempo of the show. Each transition/staging punctuates the scene it leaves, and sets up the scene that comes. Attention to minute detail ensures this goes well. These two and a half meter high and deep structures need to be moved swiftly, often in low light to arrive at a point that needs to be centimeter accurate. Those of us in the cast carrying a little extra weight see it as a workout. By the end of the day, however, the brain is more tired than the body.
We’re at the point in rehearsal where a diary would need to contain spoiler alerts. So I’ll wrap today’s entry without giving too much away.
Tomorrow we start running the acts in costumes.
Dansens hus was lively today, other artists in the corridors, sitting in the café area. Ulf Nilseng and co arrive in a few days - old comrades, working on the other stage. It’s a small community, and I suspect it’s the same, no matter how large the city.
Standing in the shadows of the wings, waiting to go on stage, I was hit with the shock of Trump’s election, again and again. I’m glad we’re making a thing of beauty. It seems like the right response.
I’m glad we’re making a thing of beauty. It seems like the right response.
Almost the end of a long week. Alan’s method has always to be to work the technical aspects of a production in parallel with the acting process. This means you can be running a scene for only the second time and be working in light, with contentum in the background. I’m aware of how fragile this acting business is. You’re trying to remember all those lines, and where you’re sposed to go, and how, and then you’re plunged into an exquisite but unusual light, with a lot of strange (and yes beautiful) sounds coming out of the monitors. The downside of this process is that some actresses can behave badly when this happens. Shouting and crying. It’s all very embarrassing when (I) they do this. The upside is we get to be running technical rehearsals early in the process.
Costumes in place. Again some actresses whining and complaining, but this is more about self loathing than anything else. We all have our different ways of dealing with the prickle of nerves that come, close to the opening night.
We run the play for the first time with costumes. All those technical aspects yield - of course their magic. It’s like being in a film. It’s very, very moving being in this play - although we are, I think, all very careful not to indulge that poignancy. We’ve got a job to do.
All the actors say (to each other) - Well, I’ll be sitting ALL day tomorrow. Learning my lines. It’s just so embarrassing forgetting what to say. Standing there, blank, while everyone waits for you to get you act together. A metaphor for life, I suppose.
“Would to god these blessed calms might last ... ” (Nancy Sternbach - America Episode 2: Psychopatriot)