Thursday, September 28, 2006

These are the flyers. I can't decide which is my favourite.
Uphill struggle is hardly the word. I used to think I was a tolerant and patient person but I seem to become a horrible monstrous harridan as soon as I step through the door of the rehearsal rooms. And everytime I set out with the best of intentions.

I blame those foul tempered actors that drag the rest of the company down.

And tonight we block scene 6. Which will be it for the blocking. And even amidst the blocking, there are some lovely moments. Danny - as bandit - doing a French accent on Tuesday cheered my heart. And I'm sure there would have been other lovely moments - if half of the actors hadn't got stuck outside in the street. When oh when will we get a bell..?

I'm off to Frankfurt tomorrow to watch some focus groups and am very much looking forward to a couple of days off Edinburgh soil. I somehow feel that I may return with a great sense of perspective which I am currently sadly lacking.

I should never have pretended this blog was about a play. The truth is it's all about me.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Now the lovely Nicholas has snapped his other achilles tendon and has to pull out. Five down. Only 15 to go.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Three more rehearsals under my belt. All act one so it's starting to look fractionally less shambolic.

It's been mildly frustrating having the odd absence here and there. I'm still waiting on waif and stray confirmation so don't have a complete cast yet so that doesn't help. But most rehearsals seem to have a couple of actually cast people missing which must be incredibly frustrating for the actors.

Although on the plus side, we do get some very entertaining cameos. Gordon's australian Jussup has been the highlight to date I think.

And there still seems to be so much to do organisationally. Trying to get letters to schools out at the moment with an eye to doing a special schools matinee. Work work work.

Still, Banksy's elephant has cheered me up today. Thanks Banksy.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Suddenly I feel like almost everything has fallen into place. I saw some really smashing flyer designs from my producer / marketing man on Tuesday night. The chap I was courting to be my little fox seems like he might be interested. As are another couple of waifs and strays who should plump out the military ranks somewhat.

We have a props person and from the looks of things, a prompt. (Again, courtesy of my producer.) I don't have confirmed outsize rehearsal space yet but am investigating. I don't have a promo night venue but am investigating. We haven't decided on the services which we might offer for the slave auction. But perhaps that is up to the winning bidder anyway. I had no crazy troubled dreams of death and destruction last night for the first time in at least a week. (Although that may have had more to do with the red wine than my untroubled conscience.) So all in all, maybe suddenly we're in quite good shape.

I'm quite excited about my rehearsal tonight. First blocking of scene 4. Bring it on.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Nonsense but I shall justify posting this because a) I need a little light relief and b) like Brecht, he's German. Marvellous stuff.

Monday, September 11, 2006

"The play is the master and I am its whore."
Charles Jeffries

Very fitting, whoever he is.

On the plus side, blocked the first big scene yesterday. It was very funny watching them all stumbling round like oxen. I can at least determine to be entertained by this play.
Two more down. I could weep. Both very valid excuses. But oh, I might have cast it all differently if I'd known.

Still, from shabby chaos, great good has come. As Mr Ian Aldred, an esteemed actor and one-time professional voice, has graciously agreed to step into the breach.

That covers one of the missing people at least. Though wasn't quite the vision I had for replacing my other lawyer / doctor to create the twin girl pairing I had planned.

And I seem to have various prospective young boys aligning themselves as a possible replacement for my poor little fox. One of them even has red hair.

So I must screw my courage to the sticking place and not think about cancelling the whole thing in a childish fit of pique. We will live to fight another day.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Well well well.

Only five down last night. But we muddled through. And I sat throughout grinning like an idiot at hearing it all through with everyone doing their stuff.

Late addition to the cast, Mr Joe Culley, will be an excellent addition I think. Mr Aldred, who read in for Azdak who shall not return from his surrogate motherland for a couple more weeks, read marvellously. The chopping up of the singer's part seems to work well enough. My lovely technical boys, Andy, Gordon and Jonathan, came along and listened very patiently. Gordon rather fantastically took a starring cameo as the monk. And people chortled away throughout at (most of) the bits that I think are funny. So it all bodes well I think.

I got a lift home in Mr Aldred's shiny convertible merc (for which I thank you sir) feeling all very pleased with myself.

And then I get into work and Sarah recounts tales from the 9/11 BBC documentary last night. I think I've been missing a little sense of my own unimportance.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

First read-through tonight. Supposedly with the whole cast although I know at least 3 people can't come and I suspect more are going to forget / be late / get the venue wrong etc. But I can't bring myself to send out an email reminder like a crazy nag. Must remember that most other people - in fact all other people - have a great deal more going on in their lives than this play. Perhaps it is only me that has it looming like an enormous behemoth (bit of a tautology there I suspect but I think the occasion warrants it) in the little sky above my little world. (God, cut the self-pity with a knife.)

Anyway, first read through tonight. And I am actually very excited about it. It'll be great to get everyone (ish) together and hear it read aloud. A fair number of the production people are coming too which is brilliant as I really want to get them involved before the final week so we have more of a team thing going on.

My big dread is we'll be trotting along nicely and then a terrible silence will fall and I'll realise I've forgotten to cast someone. Still, soon see!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I do rather feel that I've spent every waking minute that I haven't been at work for the past week working on this bloody production. Is this the world of the full length play?

Two nights - and actually a portion of bank holiday Monday - last week listening to music and trying to work out what might go where. Friday night, I staggered home after a client night out to burn the music onto a CD. Amazing how much more quickly a CD burns when you're half drunk.

Saturday, leapt up much earlier than I would have liked to block block block. Although you know, I self-pityingly say that but I did manage to take a chunk out of the day to meet Siobhan and Miriam in Clambers. And a few hours to sit through an extraordinary sex show which passed itself off as high art and the end to the International Festival. "Platform" at the Lyceum. Highlight was the naked girl. I say naked. She was wearing a pair of high heels. So it's not all bad.

Sunday more blocking. Finished splitting up the lines between the two "singers". Marked up some scripts with the cuts. Then a happy whirl of a costume meeting, a rehearsal and a committee meeting. And last night (which was only Monday) spent three hours with the (rather fabulous) lighting man who is undoubtedly going to do a brilliant job as he clearly knows much more about lights than I could ever dream of.

Oh, and one or maybe two of my cast have pulled out. For very good reasons. But I'm floundering around trying to find replacements before the first read through on Thursday. Not that all the cast can make it so I really don't know why I'm worrying. More fool me I suppose.

My friend Mr Neill had remarked that I hadn't posted anything on my blog about the first rehearsal. And indeed, it did rather pass me by in a flurry of other stuff. I keep consoling myself with the thought that doing all this stuff now will save great swathes of time and anxiety later.

Or maybe this feeling of steadily mounting panic will now accompany me like a cosy old jumper through the next eleven weeks. Happy days.