Friday, 27 February 2015

Final stages

With under a week to go a strange calm has descended on the group. All of the technical bits seem to be in place, the show seems to hang together without any bits I'm really worried about - and we are still coming up with new ideas (including a very cool idea for the bulldozer).

It'll be interesting getting these rather large flats into the building but I think my measurements are right. It's the gauze that will be the main issue...

It covered our garage and is extremely hard to work with! Again, I hope my measuring was up to scratch when we come to hang it.

Next we have to 'get in' to the theatre which we'll do on Monday/Tuesday, with Jack and I doing as much as we can to cable up the lights and get things working before the cast turn up for their tech and dress from 4.30pm. 

Alex's soundscape is sounding fabulous and adding a very menacing and pervasive feeling of unease - I think that was a good idea. When it first ran through the rehearsal there was a palpable change in the energy of the room. 

Lisa's been pushing the cast to take more emotional risks with their parts now - taking things to the edge. 

I'm delighted we'll have at least a few in the house for the dress rehearsal with the National's assessor coming on our first night. And then I'll hand over the play to Christabel to run in true pro fashion.

In a week it will be all over (until Northampton in May) and I'll be so sad not to be working with this very talented and really lovely group of people. They clearly have such a bond of friendship it makes me very happy that we've put them together. I pray they have a wonderful experience in the show and that their memories are entirely positive of the show and the process. Mine certainly are.

Break a leg, everyone. I couldn't be prouder of you all!


Monday, 9 February 2015

Progress and paint

Since the last post, things have moved on. At last we've had all the required cast members in the same place at the same time and the show is beginning to take shape in a very promising fashion. I'm confident that we will have a really top class production and I'm thrilled with how well Emily, my year 11 co-Director, has taken to the task.

Emily directing in a directorial kind of director-y way
Now we need to make sure the tech matches it!

Jack on the lights has loads of fabulous ideas and I'm delighted to have him working with us. The costume is bugging me a little - it's definitely not my forte. We need to nail it down. The dresses for the A-team are fantastic as Sophie demonstrates...

Sophie / Alice 
 ...but the rest of the costumes need to be of similar quality.

It also became obvious to me that asking for help painting the flats was a logistical nightmare. Lisa offered the use of her as yet undecorated office area which has been a godsend so I've been up and down the A414 to Potters Bar a number of times.

I am no artist, but my (rather artistic) son talked me through how to create perspective and how to use tones to create effects. So I bought a load of paint and gave it a go....

First I had to strip the flats.

Old paper all over it - this was 30 mins into the task
Now clear!

A base of a nice Vanilla colour

The eventual landscape of dead sunflower stalks
My son said he was 'pleasantly surprised' by my efforts - this is high praise indeed.

Next I will use stencils cut by my son (clever chap) and spray paint on the decaying sunflower heads and leaves. Pics will follow once I've done that. Then I'll load them back in Lisa's van...
A tight squeeze
and they'll live in my garage until March.

The biggest problem was the sharkstooth gauze which we are using for a couple of visual effects. It is 4m x 3m and we had nowhere to hang it. Instead I had to stretch it on the floor and it was an absolute nightmare. If I never have to paint one of those again it will be too soon!

More reports to follow...