Sam Freeman

Storytelling | Theatre | Arts Marketing

Gaffer Rehearsals – Day 1

So, here we are, day one. There’s always mixed feelings starting a rehearsal process – fear, panic and excitement mix together in a heady mix that can, on occasion, be overwhelming. We, however, cheated a little. Today is day one, but we did a couple of days pre-rehearsals in in a desolate part of East London, so the nerves I usually feel aren’t really there…

We start with a read through of the play, something we’ve done before, but important so that we can see which characters might need work to find their voice, where the tone needs adjusting and where the pace might need to be quickened or slowed. It went pretty well if I’m honest, the prep work we did in London and the vast amount of time Simon’s spent working on all the characters (he plays 20+) seems to have given us a great base from which to start.

Then to blocking, finding the right space to stand and deliver (at it’s most basic level), but also working out some of the transitions from scene to scene. The show is made up of lots of short scenes in different locations – from the training ground to offices – but also playing with different times and also different levels of reality – some are heightened reality, some step out of reality.

We’re using projection to support (and hopefully not drown) the performance so this early stage is useful to establish a balance between the two. I’ve been working on the AV and sound for the last couple of months, so to start to see where various elements will fit is really exciting – it’s also a challenge, looking at element that have been created that might no longer fit with the development of the show.

So finally we ran the first 14 pages of the show (yep, on day one, we’re good) and it was really encouraging. Still far from the finished product, but with moments when you can glimpse something special – I’ve read the script maybe a hundred times, possibly more, so when something I know by heart makes me giggle or starts to move me I suspect we’re on the right track.

I’ll keep you updated with how the show is going over the next few weeks. Tickets are from £5 to £14, suffice to say the £5 tickets are selling fast so book now to get them. Also, and I feel like a terrible salesman for not integrating this into my blog more successfully, we have a Wednesday Matinee where tickets are £5 BUT unemployed concessions are just £3. I want as many people as possible to have the opportunity to see the show and I hope this helps!

Cheerio for now.