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I Have Never...

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

3rd Rehearsal Proper 14/2/05

OK this was a short one. It started late, about 8.10pm, because the theatre group had been having their 'Hustings' for exec (is Hustings the right word?). I have stood for Vice President of the group, on the tenet that, if the President is the 'Face' of the group, I want to be it's 'Ears'. This gets a groan during the meeting.

So, once again we are diminished (have I mentioned Candice dropped out?). Tonight, because many people are helping to build the set for 'Good Grief Connie, It's Amazing', I only end up with Carl, Becky, Raf, Anne, Amanda and Emily.

Initially, I choose to go over over some old ground. We play the shoe game from the Darkin Ensemble workshop, but this time with my scarf and a board rubber. Focus generated (sorry Carl, I know you hate that word), we then move onto Fiasco. There has been some considerable improvement in the group with this game. Becky even says that she has been trying to practice with her flatmates (although, they'd 'not got it'). Amanda starts much more impressively, but Anne calls fiasco because she is smiling. A discussion ensues as to whether this is Amanda's 'natural' stance.

I then take the group back to the tableau for Raf's 'Converted' story. They find the 3 images in no time flat. I then ask Raf to 'direct' from his personal interpretation of the story. This throws up some fascinating changes. For example, based on the recording, the assumption had been made that his ex's parents were still together (mainly because there was little or no information to go on). With Raf's direction, it turns out that they are actually divorced, which changes the images completely.

Once Raf gets the images to his satisfaction, I ask the group to focus on the movement between the three images, so it becomes more fluid. Once more this affects the positioning. All the while, I play some mournful music in the background 'Amourissima' by Feist. It is 3mins, 21 secs long. I now ask Raf to tell the story in French, and interact with the frozen images, while the music is playing, changing the images to match the music/story. I found this particularly affecting. Second time around, I play in Raf's original recording after the piece. I'll have to think about the visuals to match the story in English...

I decide on a change of pace. This is initiated by a different tune - 'The Death Of All The Romance' by The Dears. Amanda has asked to do Ballroom dancing on her initial list of I Have Nevers. Therefore, as this is quite a pacy song, I suggest the group pair up into couples and dance around the space as if it were a Tango. There is reticence to the idea, so I make a fool of myself by dancing with an imaginary partner, then grabbing Raf and dancing with him (why did I choose Raf? Something Freudian there. Am I really that scared of women?). Despite their inhibitions, the couples (Raf/Amanda, Becky/Carl, Emily/Anne) start to throw some moves. It becomes clear that some choreography is definitely required (fortunately, I discover on the way home, that Duncan might be able to assist in that department). I put Raf and Amanda on the spot, and they gamely strut their stuff for an audience, but I can tell that they are not yet comfortable. Still, playing with the idea has meant that we have played the song 3 times, which has firmly lodged it in half my casts' brains. It's a favourite of mine at the mo'.

I end the rehearsal, thanking people for their efforts tonight. Then, I have to go and spend 15 minutes sweeping up the flour from the rehearsal the day before (some Outcry about "What will estates think" etc. etc.). There is now a planned hiatus until after Connie on Saturday night. I make a plan to seek some advice on structuring all this material, aware that there is a convenient Form not Formula workshop at the Mill on Saturday with Writer in Residence Michael Stewart...

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