Thursday, 27 November 2014

Herding Cats

Well we certainly seem to have a lot of people on stage from time to time! The phalanx of 'new girls' is a mighty powerful sight when it's working well but it's going to take a lot of work (AND FOCUS!!!) to get it right.

 Last night we worked through a number of elements but the real frustration is that we always seem to have a key cast member away. Consequently we're a little behind where I'd really like to have been but with plenty of time to catch up I'm not overly concerned.

With our lighting guy Jack fully on board now and Alex well into his soundscape construction I'm increasingly confident about the finished product.

A local school has offered to loan us all the flats we need (phew) and with the other tricky items already identified I think we are in pretty good shape...

The National Theatre has approved all our artwork so that's all off to the printers now - I guess we'd better start to sell some tickets!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

The Boy Preference starts to take shape

To say I am excited about how The Boy Preference is shaping up would be a huge understatement.

Asking Emily to co-direct was SO the right thing to do and despite my control freakery I'm actually loving it. She's a great foil and inspiration and is bringing so many great ideas to the process.

Last night we met with Jack, our lighting genius. Jack has a long history with Best having lit many of our summer academies while he was till at school. I think he'll make our show look superb - and we now have a solution for the tricky 'diving board' issue...

And what's most exciting of all is to see how the cast have taken to it. There are some beautiful, rounded characters already developing and they seem to have instantly grasped the whole feeling of the piece.

I'm on the hunt for props which is turning into a really fun quest. Having tracked down the only remaining sunflowers in the UK last week, I'm after all kinds of other goodies now. More news on this as it comes in.

And finally for now, the National Theatre have finally approved our our poster - and here it is:-

Monday, 10 November 2014

The Boy Preference - week 1

A brilliant week started off by an excellent meeting with co-director Emily. We had a fantastic idea for a sunflower thing. My next thought was 'oh no. the sunflower season is over, where will we find some?' so I got on the phone to all the major growers of sunflowers in the UK and eventually spoke to Nicholas Watts of Vine House Farm north of Peterborough. What a lovely man! He grows around 6 million sunflowers a year and he personally went out and searched across all his fields to find the stalks we needed. We drove up there today to collect them.

"Sunflowers???"  I hear you ask - well you'll juts have to come and see the show to find out (although more hints will doubtless follow.

On the way back we dropped in to see the venue for our partner theatre show at Royal; & Derngate in Northampton. What a beautiful theatre! Two main house - a  lovely'producing' Victorian space (the Royal), a more modern 'receiving space (Derngate) and our studio - the Underground. It's just right for our show.

Then it was back home after a 200  mile round trip to rig up a strange contraption in the greenhouse to keep the mice off the sunflowers till next February! The thing we do for art, eh?

More news next week!

The very helpful Nicholas Watts!
Nicholas retrieving the stalks from the warehouse

The Empty Space
Heath Robinson strikes