Sam Freeman

Storytelling | Theatre | Arts Marketing

Tech rehearsals

It’s Monday at 5:40 and I’m currently sat in the back of the theatre as preparations for Gaffer happen all around me. The two week rehearsal process has flown by and I have a slight dizzy excitement about the next few days and the opening night. It’s been a pretty intense process for me (and Simon and Julie) the last couple of months, taking on this show and desperately wanting to serve it so that it’s a brilliant production.

I was told to take it easy at the weekend and relax a bit and stop working so hard. I nearly laughed. It’s weird, people don’t seem to understand the thrill and excitement I get from directing and producing a show. Sure it’s tiring, exhausting at times, and occasionally a little bit stressful, but this is what I’ve wanted to do since I was 14.

We used to have a gang of us who worked at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough and we all talked about what we wanted to do in years to come. For Matt it was lighting design, Mark it was sound, Steve was well on his way to being a top drawer stage manager and I wanted to direct. It’s strange to think that we’ve all made it to that point.

This process has made me think more about life and the importance of doing the thing you love and persisting even when things seem hard or barriers seem in the way. It’s also made me consider my own career – stick or twist, hold or risk… Although maybe that’s one for down the road once Gaffer is sorted.

One of the nice things about sitting at the back of the auditorium as Phil and Julie focus lights is that I can see the collaborative process coming together – I love watching them work, seeing the lights come together from an unfocused mess to something that is tight and exciting and is mirrored or mostly better that the original image I had in my head.

Me and Simon rehearsed earlier today and it was a lovely feeling, still discovering bits of the show, finding new interpretations and really, even at this late stage being able to develop and progress the show. I think creating a show, and indeed any artistic process, should be like going to the gym. It starts flabby, a little rough, goes red in the face after every activity and wheezes afterwards while cursing and then becomes a taut muscular beast that is precise and exacting and sprints up staircases accompanied by the Rocky theme.

If you’ve not booked to see the show, then, well, do that. The ticket go from £5 (depending on which show you see) to £14 and if you’re unemployed then you can see the Wednesday matinee for just £3… Not bad for a 90 minute show with an interval… Here’s the link – click here…

We also made a trailer for the show (made by the brilliant Paul Dunbar) which features me looking slightly ill and tired and Simon, by contrast, looking very sprightly and enthusiastic – check it out below.

Anyway, enough from me. Hope to see you soon. Sam x