Benj Symes - Artistic Director and Actor
Finally we're here! After 18 months of R+D playing, planning, talking, writing, striving..
And it's been a good first week.
Jon, Nix and I have been rehearsing upstairs at 47 Fore Street whilst Lottie has been busy researching, planning, organising, finding, and making soup. We've had strategy meetings with Nix and Becca about Venues and Promotion/ Tour Booking, meetings with Steven (our new Intern) about marketing and evaluation, and phone chats with Sophie our designer, and John and Charlotte who will be helping with the make. Becca and Steven will be mainly working from our hotdesk in Hall for Cornwall (where we are now an 'associate theatre company'.) We've had meetings with UCF also, a Business Assist partner who are providing us with their technician to design the lighting for our shows, and also with scaffolding companies about the set.
I think we balanced well the creative with the practical this week. We attended to the things that we needed to and not worried about things still out of our control. We have covered in some depth all the scenes exclusive to the ones that interact with the film, and had a chance to work on the two songs in the show. We've also looked at how to portray the crow judges, playing with using tailcoats, manipulating them to show them attacking Freddy. We spent a good day in Penryn College rehearsing in front of a Year 12 student group and listening to their ideas. And we've done some more filming for Aubade!
At the same time Jon has done some work on SFX whilst we have maintained a weather watch on the ever pressing admin (which Nix and I have labelled 'badmin', or 'madmin' if it's guerilla style out and about – ie Nix in Peranwell Station carpark at 8.30am on her laptop in the driver's seat of the van, parked up I stress!) For me it's been early mornings and late nights, thinking, drawing, making notes. Making sure that all areas are integrating. Everything is now set to start working with the primary elements of set in the Tolmen Centre for the next 4 weeks leading up to the show. Fingers crossed.
The first week always feels a little strange. It's easy to assume that it will all be good! We go through scenes and find ourselves saying things like, 'so that's where the dance goes – we'll sort that out later' or 'so, at that point that amazing bit of hilarious and poignant stage action happens – we'll sort that out later'!! We also perhaps don't push that hard, probably in case we find out something horrible that we have missed, or forgotten! But actually I feel that this is ok right now. We needed some space to settle in to the project and prepare for what is to come, and we all needed a week that wasn't hectic, over-tiring, or pressured. There will be a lot of tech to sort in this play, and so we ave given ourselves 5 weeks instead of our usual 3. And we'll need it. But I also think that the tech sortign and likely delays will allow for Nix and I to keep working on our characters and any unfinished 'business' (dance steps etc.) and mean that all elements of the whole project have time to tighten up together.
It's been good to be at the house with the core crew, allowing us to get centred and come close together at the start of what will be an exciting and full journey...