Friday, 18 October 2013

A Wyrd Update

I'm not sure how many more times I can utilise word play on the title of Wyrd Sisters.  What do you think?  Something Wyrd this way comes?  It's all getting Wyrd in here?  Well that was a bit Wyrd?  Is it getting old yet?

I haven't blogged about Wyrd Sister's for a while, not since the auditions took place over the Summer so I thought (now that the posters have been finalised) that it was time for a little update!
We are well and truly into the rehearsals now.  We have passed the dreaded deadline of 'books down' (no scripts allowed on stage anymore), we are running entire acts (and soon to move into runs of the entire play), we have even done our line run.  A line run is when all the cast sit in a big circle, no acting or movement and simply run the lines back to back.

Without their scripts.

This is a lot harder than it sounds as you normally associate lines with cues of some description and not all of them are verbal.  A lot of cues are physical; a nod of the head, a cross to a new position, someone walks onto the stage and hits you and with a line run you don't have that.

What is the point then I hear you cry?!

A line run forces the cast to listen to each other which means that they are forced to listen for their actual cue line instead of, as frequently happens at this stage in rehearsals, just jumping in when they think it is about the right time for them to speak, often cutting over the top of someone else!  Because line runs are so much faster than an actual run as well (not moving furniture and props around frees up a ridiculous amount of time, as does not having to run the length of time some of the cast spend getting from the top to the bottom of the auditorium and milking it for all they are worth.  Ahem, John?) cast are also acutely aware of areas that they need to swot up on a little bit more.  The basic rule is, if you got a prompt you need to go and learn it again!  I was incredibly frustrated with myself as I missed a cue that I know and forgot another line completely that I also know.  I have never missed these lines before and I don't have many so there really is no excuse.  I was mentally kicking myself afterwards.

We are also in the stage of rehearsals where two little words sporadically appear on the rehearsal schedule.  These two little words are 'sticky bits'.  Sticky bits are small segments of the play that need further examination, it could be a stretch of dialogue between two characters or an action sequence, it could be an entire scene or, as rehearsal last Friday proved, it could be the entire of Act 2 (which is now thankfully unstuck).  In a sticky bits rehearsal we call in the actors involved in that particular section and run it over and over again until it matches the quality of the rest of the production.  Often sticky bits emerge from a lack of focus on that area earlier in the rehearsal schedule and they are never a commentary on the skills or abilities of the actors involved; it's simply a bit where there may be blocking issues (actors obscuring each other on stage), a new prop has been bought in which needs working around or the flow isn't quite right.

We have also started the marketing and publicity (we are really happy with the posters that were made by a friend of one of the cast members in return for a bottle of wine and 2 tickets), props and costumes are midway through being sourced (it's very odd to watch a witch in a cloak riding on a broomstick with jeans on) and the set is nearly complete.
We are on stage in 3 weeks time and for once I am feeling very calm about a production.  God only know how RV, the Director is feeling though!

It is shaping up to be a wonderful, hilarious and completely irreverent show with some superb performances.  If you are around, please do consider coming to see us!

Tickets are on sale from the Gulbenkian Theatre box office now, £12 each and the performance nights are the 6th, 7th and 8th November, curtain up at 7.30pm.

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