Thursday, 12 April 2012

Sniffles That Do Sorely Ruffle

Assistant Director, Richard Lavery continues his blog from the rehearsal room of King Lear:

Over the last week and a half the rehearsal room has resounded to the tones of sniffling, coughing and a fair few sneezes with the occasional splutter. In a cast and crew of over 30, colds just fly through the company. Add to that the fantastically theatrical weather we've had over the last few weeks and its soothers all round.

My script helper
We've now got to the stage that all the individual pieces of the production have come together more cohesively, with the music and various fight sections having been placed into their respective scenes and now we're just tinkering and running them to develop and solidify a bit further. The rehearsal room now usually rings to the tinkling of music with Paddy working on a piece with Owen (playing the Fool) at the same time as Dominic working with other cast members on a part of a scene and me working with the Ensemble on another section. It feels fantastic when the room buzzes with life and equally exciting when it quietens to focus on a particular scene or for a run of the play.

Fight rehearsal for the last scene
In the last week we've had some of my favourite moments including one from Dominic to Ewan (playing Edgar) of, "play the balloon more", an immortal snippet of direction that I adore for a special moment that may never make it past the tech next week. We've all been falling more and more in love with Shakespeare's language, often I hear little clips receited offstage with adoration and laughter. One of my favourite lines right now is a simple little line from Gloucester, "Alack, the night comes on, and the high winds/Do sorely ruffle" (Act 2 Scene 4 ln 490). And though it's in a moment of high tension, it tends to make me smile.

Dominic thinking and playing the balloon more
Now we're hurtling through the last few days, running the play at least once a day with tech week looming ahead. Not long to go but a lot more to do.

Assistant Director

featuring clips from rehearsals and interviews with Dominic Hill and David Hayman:


Monday, 2 April 2012

Trumpets and Pianos

The third week of rehearsals for King Lear has just finished and the show is really coming together now. The last few weeks have been hard work getting to grips with this large scale production but the team is really coming together, from the inexhaustible Dominic Hill to the ever enthusiastic ensemble. 

This week Tom (designer) and Paddy (composer) have been with us a lot more and it's been fantastic to have them in, and begin to have their input more and get to see those aspects of the production feed in. In the rehearsal room it can be difficult to see how those other aspects will effect or play into a scene, so getting a taste of what they'll be really helps not only the director but the cast and larger team too.

Early singing warm up with full cast and ensemble
With Paddy also came some musical warm ups with the whole company and the introduction of sound into more of the scenes. One unrelated and particularly embarrassing moment for me was when we worked through the last scene of the play and I had to make trumpet noises, to announce the arrival of Edgar, they weren't very good. According to Dominic they sounded like a "choking frog". Ewan (playing Edgar) now makes the trumpet sounds himself until we get the actual ones.

A donated piano
The pianos got a proper work out as they began to feature more heavily midweek, it's easy to now see why we desparately need more of them! [Ed. We now have enough pianos!] As they make up most of the larger atmospheric sounds in the middle of the play and sound terrifyingly amazing. Even with Paddy tinkering with one piano in the rehearsal room has made an amazing difference to the feel of the play.

Designer Tom and Dominic play with the staging for a scene
A personal moment of excitement was getting to sit between Dominic and Tom as we worked on scenes, talking to and working with these two fantastic artists. It was exciting just to get to be a part of their conversations and thinking.

Now we're heading into week 4 and the excitement is really building!

Assistant Director

King Lear
Previews: 20, 21, 24 April
Opens from 25 April

100 50p tickets for King Lear go on sale at 10am on Sat 14 April!