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I Have Never...

Thursday, March 10, 2005

1st Dress Rehearsal - Wednesday 9th

Aaarghh! For some reason I can’t get into my blog at work. Tried before 9am this morning, but there seems to be server problems. Hence, I’ll be brief.

Last night was a tale of two runs.

After spending an hour or so going through blocking with the cast, we did a proper tech run straight through. It was a nightmare. Worst moments were as follows:-

Realising that the Dictaphone material was really being affected by the amplification and tweaking which it had undergone. It now proved very difficult to hear what was actually being said.
Someone mentioning that flour might be flammable, and so Chris wouldn’t be able to use it in his scene.
Cast lacking focus, uncertain about positioning, transitions and timing.

However, it was the first time we had cobbled it all together. It was never going to be perfect. Better to know now and put in contingency plans.

Asked Keith to work with the Dictaphone material again. Give option of no music in the background, as well as ultra low in the mix, to reduce distraction from dialogue. Present Dictaphone material raw on a tape deck without amplification?
What white powder could be used instead? Discovered today that Washing Powder is probably the best bet.
Talked to the cast. They had got a wake up call by running it. Calmed there nerves, but asked them to focus on solving the problems they had experienced in the first run.

Fifteen minute break, then we had another go. Gluttons for punishment indeed.

It was better. Far better. Granted, there was still room for improvement. Had a pow wow with the Production team, then sent out the following notes on email to the cast today (including Carl’s points):-
Quote for the day...

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."

Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)
Italian painter, sculptor and inventor

Specific scene notes as promised from yesterday. Deep breath...

Birthday Party:
1) Shhhhh's. If you are outed from behind the cloth react.
2) Lucy do your first 'slag off' in the light outside the main stage area. Less hand moves/arms crossed.
3) Duncan react rather than predict Lucy slagging you.
4) There should be a Moment between Duncan and Chris when Chris is `outed`
5) After the "surprise", *dance*. Need to be aware of diagonal positioning between the two seating rigs here.
6) Orange pass/balloon pass. Cycle round each of these parts 5 times instead of 3 times. When you get the orange/balloon, make sure you are at the end of the seating rig. If you aren't, run to it before passing to the next person.
7) Fewer generation-game noises when opening the present, try talking to the person next to you. The words themselves don't need to be heard by the audience.
8) Don't pass parcel until music starts up again. If there is a delay, react with annoyance at the tech box. 'Come on!' etc.etc.
9) Shake parcel much more animatedly at cowbell moment of 'Daft Punk'. Big gestures!
10) Lucy as Ya Ya Ya starts, pack the present away back in the box so it is easy to take off stage for Becky's scene.

Confronted a Crush:
1) More attention to Stage-Right seating rig, where Carl was sat.
2) Run along in the rectangles of light during PE lesson. See it as a relay.
3) Amanda when reading your section stay in corner with Emily/Becky.
4) Duncan stand with Chris while you're doing the heartbeats. Don't be lured by the girls...
5) Anne turn out from the scene once the note has been passed to Lucy.
6) Lucy when reading slouch on set at stage back. Otherwise you block Sidrah.
7) Emily, you can be more screechy with Jodie-lines. I lost Beavis & Butthead laughing D & C.
8) Sidrah be further forward, at front of red spot. Move into the spotlight after Emily picks up the note. Fiasco the audience.Really liked the moment when Becky took Sidrah's hand...

Saying it with Flours:
1) Chris should expect people when he returns with the flour but they've sneaked off!
2) Keep flour Stage-Right rather than Down-Stage-Centre so you don't pass the other cast.
3) Chris rather than having your back to the audience, remember to pour facing the audience. We'll be doing it on material tonight...
4) Chris, don't beckon cast back at end of scene. Take flour off in material, link arms with Sidrah as she is your original partner in this scene, and lead the rest of the cast back into the space.
5) Blah blah blah went on too long. Don't over indulge here. Really liked the mini argument between C & S.

1) Amanda & Lucy need to be coupley during the blah blah blah.
2) For the dance, blokes grab your first partner and assume your position on stage, two in red light, two in front of audience. When you swap partners, girls cycle clockwise to your next partner...
3) Chris & Becky if you are in front of audience, dance side on to them and address the chorus words to nearest audience block...
4) Think when the chorus kicks in. Be prepared. Definite head movement to the side. Girl first out to the audience, then boy out to the audience, then looking at each other when girl says 'Tell me, tell me, tell me the lies'.
5) Chris don't get too close in your second dance.
6) Final pairing needs to be closer, two of the couples weren't believable.
7) *Don't* smile, you are passionately, seriously obsessed by the figure you're dancing with. Keep eye-contact at all times in the last pairing.
8) Liked the scrap over one partner. Work it in at final swap.
9) Lucy & Sidrah in the Yadda Yadda Yadda, you leave stage first instead of last.

1) Duncan, shorten the I Have Never statement to just "I have never flown unaided", drop the "or swam with sharks".
2) During flying, everyone move in front of Duncan, not behind him.
3) Transition to swimming. Duncan take a 'beat' after coming off the block, then parade in front of both seating rigs fiascoing them. What do we do with the odd block out?
4) Anemone can be less wiggly please, think more shimmering tentacles than hand-exercises.
5) Shoal of fish - don't move the first block point out until all the shoal is together. Also, need to move the other block point ways out, too so that set is symmetrical.
6) If you're not in the ideal position when Duncan kills you, just die where you are, you can reposition yourself when you wake.
7) As fish, try and reduce the shuffle noise, it blocks out the dialogue.
8) Really liked that when you get to three fish left the shoal breaking up.

1) This scene will be shorter, due to the reworking that has been done over the last couple of days. The soundtrack for it will be about 3 minutes long instead of 6 minutes.
2) Kids spread out a bit so you aren't blocking one of the seating rigs view of the assault.
3) Becky & Chris you need to have the assault occur in the red circle light.
4) Everyone follow Becky for the turn-and-hit.
We will practise this tonight between runs. We are running the movement backwards (as we have been doing) and then forwards to end in the position you start in.

1) Think about the transition from the last scene. All run together back into the circle?
2) You need to be as loud, obnoxious and boisterous as you can be in the Rugger Rugger Rugger section. These are characters that the audience should despise/be afraid of. Violence lurks just beneath the surface at all times...
3) Anne think about when you gesture to the group.
4) Amanda & Chris you need to be in the circle light for your movement motif.
5) The queue can spread out all the way along the one seating rig.
6) The thigh-slap football chant - someone needs to lead this - Duncan take control of this, imagine it's like hooly hooly birds, everyone needs to keep time.
7) Amanda would you really hug Swiss strangers you'd only just met?
8) Duncan & Raf, set move with Nikki needs to be right up to the breast to let her climb straight into it (so she doesn't have to cover bare stage), then move it back Up-Stage-Centre as far as it will go.
9) Anne you don't need to do any movement work in this scene. Focus on telling the dialogue while keeping as still as possible.
10) Amanda & Lucy we'll work on the light in which you do your motif work. It needs to be more centre front stage...

1) Anne, don't beckon the prisoners to come back, just look at them.
2) Remember torture line order - Sidrah needs to be near front, Raf near the end.
3) Shout 'I Have Never...'. Music will be really loud. You need to try and compete with it here.
4) Very good, spot on timing on dying guys. Hit the end of the track spot on.
5) Nicki, don't help the dead people get up, just hug them and they will recover on their own. Think of it as a reverse-shark; where Duncan killed and carried on with no interest in his victims, you're reviving the people and you care. Spend a couple of seconds after the hug, get eye contact, check they're okay, then move on.
6) The writing/tableau scene is the other one that will be edited this evening. Instead of running for 5.5 minutes, it will run for 3.5 minutes or so. We will practice this tonight between runs.
7) Think about the tableau transitions. Aim to all meet your next point simultaneously. Don't correct your position once you've hit it.
8) Raf & Sidrah We'll work out where you get the paper/envelopes from. It may well be inside the set where Nicki came from.
9) Sidrah because of lighting, can you present the not to someone in the front row? Mirror Raf's timing to the audience.

Detox Camp/Werewolves/Sandals:
1) Did someone Ommm during the detox camp, or did I imagine it? I liked a low, barely audible background tone, we'll work on it to see if we can achieve some sort of harmony.
2) Move the dip back to being on the semicircle of set (i.e. where we originally practised it). During this scene you are still zen (legs crossed, omm etc.) but the dip is tempting you.
3) Imagine the moon is Down-Stage-Centre, i.e. above the lift. This will give you more distance to travel for your change to a werewolf. When you drop to your knees you can switch your attention to the seating rigs rather than the moon. Can we have more pain in the werewolf transformation?
4) The "Your welcome" line on the tape you were using as the cue to howl will be there tonight.
5) I love the way the stand-sit-lean-lie is messy and childish, don't try to make it slick.
6) The end with the sandals is going to change. Emily, Anne & Raf - See me when I get there tonight and I'll explain it in person.

Curtain call:
1) I agree with Carl, now. The holding hands to lead off looks cheesy, my bad. Let's not do that.
2) Cast take cues for bows and tech acknowledgement off Nicki...

Well, that's about an hour and a half of writing. Hope it all makes sense. Any queries - collar me this evening.


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