Floating rehearsal – Day One

As part of my job as a theatre marketing person  I invariably find myself berating companies for not keeping an adequate record of the process they’ve gone though in creating a new piece of work. Alas I suspect I shall fall foul of my own demands, but in order to appease myself I’m going to make some notes about how the show is progressing.
The first blocking took just over 6 hours and was pretty intense and what seems to be emerging is part-confessional, part-educational and part-confrontational. This creates a dialemma, as with all mixed genre pieces there is the danger perhaps that you can lose some of the ferocity of the content amongst the narrative and visa-versa. It’s hard to know what we have at this point too, the real magic only really happens when the script is put down and the acting truely begins – it’s like building a house from breeze blocks, you can’t really fully imagine it until it’s rendered. Floating  is a monologue about the NHS, it’s a serious play about serious issues which is something new for me. In the past I’ve always directed rather more flimsy work and I’ve found it strange not instantly searching for a punchline ever minute or so. However what is very interesting, although we have only loosely blocked the piece at this time, is the dynamic the play creates with the audience and also with the performer. It tries to tell the story of the NHS today, or rather nurses today in an balanced but personal way, the theory being that by wrapping the facts in a narrative that is small I can explain bigger ideas, concepts and fundamental flaws that exist in all of us.

There seem to be two overriding elements that I experienced watching today. Firstly that the play is tough to perform and to work effectively will require a superhuman effort from my actress, and also my sister, Susie. Secondly that parts of the piece are quite, well, moving. There was a moment this afternoon, where the tone was hit perfectly (completely undirected I should add) and I found myself welling up. I mean, I wrote the piece and am directing it, but didn’t expect that. Tomorrow we’re working on the script a little more (while sadly also going to a funeral) but keep up with the show, it’s going to be very interesting over the next few months.

Night, Sam x

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