The first read through of the script:
( I am the second person from the end on the front row)
Personally, I feel that the first read through of the script enabled us to realise the areas that we needed to work on and improve. It was also the first opportunity that the company had to gather together to see how all of the different pieces we had been working on separately linked together with short interludes. I was excited to see what this session would bring as I was unsure of the structuring for the show and how it would all become as one. I did not have a direct role in writing the script, however I did write the Melodrama scene that I hadn’t had a chance to see since being edited. For me it was at this point where the show seemed to become more put together and eased a lot of minds as we felt that the show date was soon approaching and we had nothing to perform. In this session, a few people performed what they had been working on so far, however, the day before, James and I realised that the script we had needed to be reworked in order for the piece to be longer and to give James a little more dialogue to perform. We informed Lynn about what the problem was when it came to performing and she offered to help us extend the script effectively. It was nice to see the other acts that my colleagues had been working on and gave me more motivation to finish off the pieces I was in. As the Melodrama script had just been written, we were not able to perform any blocking for the piece yet, however the company members involved in the melodrama had the opportunity to read through the piece together. I also enjoyed the short interludes between performances and felt that they linked everything together extremely well and each piece and a witty introduction to add to the idea of the club being in a cabaret style, I found the dialogue greatly helpful for this as it made it apparent the style of the club and distinguished the difference between the Cabaret club acts and the pieces that evolve in the club atmosphere.
- Jack – Needs to write an opening Speech where he introduces the idea of the club at the end of time, where fact and fiction blur at the edges and is almost a metaphor for purgatory in order for the audience to understand what he is talking about.
- Sian and Tom – the Guitar in Seduced is a bit too percussive, however this may simply be because the guitar he was using wasn’t the best quality and so the sound wasn’t the best, however I enjoyed the sound…
- Chloe – A little pitchy and low for her, she needs to come alive and come the character, also she needs to add in some blocking as the piece was dull to look at Paul suggested speaking the parts too low for her voice register
- Josh – No posh enough, work on RP accent as some of the words such as ‘ Girl’ sound too Suffolk and much like his own voice, voice slips in and out of character frequently
- Melodrama – Set up spoof melodrama in act 1, so that the audience understands what is happening in act two when the melodrama is performed. People involved need to come in altogether
- Sian and Hannah – Shopping and Fucking, needs to have a little more characterisation for Sian and she needs to become a little more weary of who is in the club that might be listening
- Leah – watch loose women and Tess Daley and Claudia Winkleman as character research for Jill
- Daytona and James – Talking to terrorists needs to be reworked, see Lynn for guidance
- Come to a party – ‘Don’t be a twerp’ instead of jerk and change smashing to amazing.
- DANCERS – Take me to church, needs to be finished and polished as no work has been started yet on the dance
- Sophia and Jess – Work on harmonies for poison apple, sounded a little off due to Sophia’s pitching.
- Harry – don’t call her ‘Baby’ in the final scene was a bit too different from the archaic language in Jayne Eyre and Henry VIII and didn’t fit well into the scene
- Josh – Start lighter and then become more serious, looking very psychopathic at the beginning and has no way to build up.
- Hannah – start like an actress in your St Joan monologue, the piece is a Cabaret act!
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 practised 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.
Today, the entire cast got together to go through the tech run. As from this point I am no longer a performer in the show, I had the opportunity to watch the show from top to bottom and give any feedback to the company of any areas that I thought may need a little improvement. Initially, I was extremely worried about the dress run as it was evident to see from other various rehearsals that the show was still a little ropey and the interludes needed to be work on a lot more.
When watching the dress run, I was pleasantly surprised about the ‘state’ of the show and how it came together as a whole. It was clear to see that everyone had worked extremely hard on each of their pieces and everything seemed to be a good standard. There were still a few of the transitions between scenes that needed to be cleaned however, at this stage it put my mind at ease to see the show pull together nicely.
Below are a few of the notes I made when watching the run:
- Jack as Jimmy saying ’12 year old’ makes Lou sound as if she is actually 12 years old and is inappropriate as the audience may think that Harry is having an affair with a child which is why he may be a sinner although this is not the case
- Most of act 1 was ‘right side heavy’ with the positioning of the cast
- Hannah needs to be a little more of an air head in the drugs scene
- Sian needs to act more wary when Hannah is shouting about selling 300 Ecstacy pills, they dont want to be caught!
- Leah needs to project a lot more in the melodrama
- Josh has great eye contact with the audience, came a little too far forward but corrected himself, good spacial awareness
- Where is Vicky? Not in rehearsal
- Establish relationship more between Scott and Jess in Hellfire
- James looked around and looked a little bored and non-engaged
- Leah, Looking non-engaged
- Characters need to come out more in Rebel
- Nice execution of dances
- Faye has amazing extension and face!
- Great relationship established between Faye and Zoe
- Sophia needs to let loose in the Melodrama and have more fun with it
- Lou, understand the character a little more… See me?
- Everyone watch their use of space
Tutor’s notes from the Dress Run:
- “Well done for taking note to stay together as waitress’s before singing lines in opening song
- enjoy jimmy’s song more
- st jimmy song is a cabaret act so watch it
- lights on st jimmy when shouting lulu
- Sian whisper to tom what she wants to sing as it’s an unplanned
- tom should remain interested when she says ‘get into bed’
- tom fearful face out front made it feel like it was influencing the audience
- Sian don’t grab his shoulder
- song – Sian did really well
- *cough* need to remember to do this ASAP!
- picking up of cues needs to be quicker as it’s dropping the energy and making their be big empty gaps
- don’t spit out ‘some slut’ makes it sound like she’s done something wrong
- glasses – they are very light be careful – make sure you give the right glasses for drinks
- Sian and Han – take her away from bar to talk about dealing
- Ruby should wear different shoes as she needs to look rougher and
- Lou – should wear nicer shoes? Helena said that she doesn’t see why ed would be attracted to her
- Lou and James – need to be more in sync and need to be positioned centre stage
- waitresses – don’t be distracting before welcome to hell with mimes chit chat
- Luring – Sian
- some lines were dropped in POSH
- took too long on ‘succeed’ in bring on the men
- wooop more in gaps of song
- link scenes need to be ramped up more and be louder
- don’t acknowledge Lou during the melodrama as it was distracting and we wouldn’t necessarily be cold to each other but to ed instead
- scene where I ask maddie about Jane needs to be bigger and less apologetic
- Dogfight song – NEEDS REWORKING
- the stage left side of the stage is very crowded
- we couldn’t hear the track which is why we got out of time
- wedding ring???
- stand up to ask Jimmy about the party and do it as if deliberately trying to make a point and make Ed hear”