On Wednesday 12th May, the whole company arranged to meet to stumble run through the show and everything that we have got so far. It was important to ensure that obstructions were as minimal as possible in order for us to calculate the length of the performance as accurately as possible, meaning that if music was needed, it needed to be played to the correct length of time so that we are able to have a rough guide as to how long the pieces would last. We decided to do a stumble run as soon as possible to highlight any areas of improvement, however personally, I feel that it is far too late to be doing so in the rehearsal process, two weeks prior to the show as I don’t feel we have ample time to block and make the corrections needed, considering we are going to lose the Bonnie and Clyde cast (around 15 out of 20 members of the company) for the 15th, 16th and 17th May due to rehearsals and show week.
Unfortunately, due to a personal matter. I was unable to attend the stumble run, however upon looking at the rehearsal video’s, it is evident that the show itself, needs a lot of time and effort put into it as at the moment it is in a messy state, however this is largely to do with the fact that this was the first rehearsal to take place with the entire company. Understandably, I did not expect the show to run smoothly, however it was clear to see that little to no blocking had taken place for any of the link scenes and some of the script needs to be reworked to ensure it fits and makes sense around all of the pieces. Personally, I feel that looking back on the video’s of the stumble run there are many pieces that have flagged my attention that simply are not blocked, clean or are extraordinarily messy. The main piece that I am concerned about is ‘Bring on the Men’ there are a few aspects I am concerned about as the dance needs to be re-choreographed to fit the new cut music as the time signatures of the new track we are using are entirely different to the original track that we had practiced to. I am also concerned about the singing aspect of the number as at the moment, it is very weak. I understand that Beth was unable to sing fully as her throat is extremely sore and she needs to rest her voice in order for her to be well to perform in both Bonnie and Clyde and Saints and Sinners. However, Sian did not attempt to sing the song at all as she hadn’t practiced with the new track and didn’t know the timings of when to sing. I feel that Sian has prioritised the other pieces that she is in and left Bring on the Men out to dry a little. On the other hand, I am not too worried that Sian won’t have learned the song by the time of the show as I know that she is very quick at picking things up having worked with her the past two years. Moreover, Emma has tried her best to learn the timings of the song and has attended several rehearsals with other company members and our vocal teacher, however she is not confident with the tune of the song and is often pitchy or singing well below the note she is meant to. From past experience and singing with Emma, I know that she struggles with pitching notes. Without trying to sound rude, sometimes, no matter how hard someone practices, if they struggle to sing in tune, it is extremely hard to train their voice to sing the correct notes they need to, I don’t feel that within the short space of time we have, Emma will be able to nail the song and the timings perfectly. Having watched the video back, you can clearly see Beth’s discomfort with being associated with the piece as she points to Jess to take over and sing the last note of the song. I know that there has been a lot of dispute over Emma singing the song and others feel that perhaps Jess Last should take her place, I am on the understanding that a meeting is going to be held with Jess, Beth, Sian and Emma to discuss this and overcome the problem that has been raised. Although, it is important to discuss this in a mature way with Emma as it could upset her or knock her confidence, which is something that needs to be avoided as much as possible as we should support one another.
I am slightly worried about the link scenes as they need to be off book asap to allow the actors to add more movement and make their performances much more believable. The links are also very ropey and Jack plays his role very much as a presenter. I imagined him to be more mysterious to add to the atmosphere of the club than what he is currently portraying, although with time, these will run much more smoothly
Another piece that needs to be addressed is Talking to Terrorists. As I wasn’t present during the run through, Lou kindly stood in for me, however it is evident to see that James and I need to sort out our blocking as the piece needs to be stationary however I felt that it was too still with minimal movement which makes it drag on and look uninteresting. I plan to work with James on Monday to rework the piece, possibly with Lynn or Erica’s direction to ensure we are portraying the characters correctly and that the piece runs smoothly.
The melodrama was also extremely ropey and disorganised. As I was not there, Sophia stood in for me, however she did not know any of the blocking which I feel threw James and Leah off slightly, so the entire thing looked a bit messy. As a group, we have only ever blocked and rehearsed the melodrama once, meaning that we are under rehearsed. As far as I know, none of us are off book therefore, we are not able to add in as many typical melodramatic movements (Such as swooning) as we still currently have scripts in our hands. I feel that it is vital to learn the script as soon as possible in order to perfect the piece within the time frame we have. It is also necessary to hold a meeting at some point next week with the melodrama group (minus Lou as she is in Bonnie and Clyde) to rehearse and clean the piece. Hopefully, we are able to have some more direction from the tutors to add to the blocking that we already have. However on the whole, I am pleased that the piece managed to hold together well enough for the audience to understand what was happening.
Finally, I am extremely pleased with the finale of the show ‘Rebel’ from the last rehearsal that took place, the entire group sounds much more in time together and in tune, there is still a little room for improvement, although the piece has developed greatly and it is evident that the whole company have put in a lot of effort to learn the piece, there are still some weaker parts however these will become more refined throughout the rehearsal process. The company have also added in some basic yet strong movement with people filtering out across the stage at different times. Some cast members are beginning to show their characters through the song which adds a beautiful emotive touch to the piece, I feel that this number will shape up to be a very strong finale.
Below is the video playlist of the stumble run:
Overall, I don’t feel that the run was a complete shambles, however there is definitely a lot of work and rehearsal to be done. I feel that it is important to work together now as a full company to ensure the piece runs fluidly, everybody needs to be off book by the end of next week when we have our dress run and each piece needs to be rehearsed extremely well. The next steps for myself would be to hold a meeting with the melodrama group and rehearse this a lot! Talking to Terrorists also needs to be practiced and hopefully directed by Lynn to help us with simple movement to ensure the piece doesn’t look too uninteresting for the audience to watch. Costumes also need to be sourced by the end of the week in time for our dress run, I shall be looking at appropriate costumes for my character and discussing these with my peers to ensure they fit with the tone of the pieces.
Feedback from Lynn:
After the stumble run, we all met as a company with Lynn to receive notes, they are as follows: