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I Have Never...

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Tech Run - Tuesday 8th

Today, I was much more chipper. A good night's sleep had done me a power of good.

I'd gone into work and Matt presented me with a CD of 7 sections of music as promised. One reminded me of Bright Eyes, another was almost Muzak, a third reminiscent of Holy Bible era Manics. I was really excited by the fact that I'd commisioned some musical work - 14 minutes to be exact. These sections would now be played in while the cast were doing the 'I Have Never Blah Blah Bah' skits. These had all been named as follows (in my head):-

I Have Never Ya Ya Ya (Sober Tea Party - Tea Cups)
I Have Never Yak Yak Yak (Teenager's Spin The Bottle - Shots)
I Have Never Blah Blah Blah (Young Couple's Swinger Party - Wine Glasses)
I Have Never Yadda Yadda Yadda (Couples about to 'cop off' - Pints)
I Have Never Rugger Rugger Rugger (Rugby team on the lash - Yard Of Ale)
I Have Never ....... ....... ....... (Torture Camp Interns - Poison)
I Have Never Da Da Da (Detox Camp - Urine)

Carl gave me a lift over.

'I'm back,' I told him.

We picked up Duncan and arrived in Bradford for 6.30pm. Carl and Duncan headed off to the Chesham Building to work on various scenes, while I returned to the space to complete the plot from yesterday.

We started the plot at about 7.30pm. In the mean time I grabbed myself some food, and helped to generally tidy up the space. I noted down the various scenes for John on a piece of paper.

It took us about an hour to go through all the scenes. I decided to centre all the games of I Have Never around the circle in the middle of the stage, alternating/merging the red, white and blue dependent on the mood. The other sections (rectangles at audiences feet, 'shoes' light, floor lights) were equally well utilised. One unexpected treat was that the way the entry had been lit meant that I could relocate part of the starting scene in the 'entrance section' of the space.

I then spent a brief amount of time with Keith on the soundscape he'd produced. There needed to be a couple of tweaks due to the new sections Matt had composed and the replacement of the track for Chris's scene. On the whole it was OK, though.

We got the cast back in the space at around about 9pm. I explained that we were going to do a 'cue to cue' for the techs and to bear with us. We wouldn't be running the whole show. They got a quick safety talk from (Keith/John? I can't remember which, I was distracted). I then showed them the route the audience would take into the space, and how they would be temporarily blinded by the light on the way in. They got into their preset positions, and I retreated to sit with John.

The lights added a whole new level to the piece. We didn't play the sound in, apart from a couple of essential moments where we wanted to assess levels. Despite my statement that I was going to leave directing the cast to Carl/Emma for the duration, I did break this code a couple of times. Sorry, folks.

It went pretty smoothly. The cast liked the lights (there was an audible 'ooo' when the first game of I Have Never light kicked in). There was a buzz back in the air that had been missing yesterday. We need to look at how we can use the set/move it around the space, but that's something to think about tonight.

It must have been about 10.30/11 when I dismissed the cast, thanking them profusely for their patience. I coralled a few of them into giving the set another coat of paint (namely Lucy and Duncan who were due to get a lift from Carl anyway). This meant what could have taken an hour took half the time.

In the midst of this Emma showed me the programme which she had compiled. The front was completely covered by 'I Have Never's which the cast had donated. As this was totally new to me, I got really excited. Inside, my notes were as follows...

NINE selected I Have Nevers I have tackled during this show...

1) I Have Never used a Psychological Study Paper, or a Memory Trick as a basis for an Audition.
2) I Have Never written a blog before. Don't know what a blog is? Want to find out? Don't go to
3) I Have Never taken a cast to rehearse on Ilkley Moor or in Yorkshire Sculpture Park. In the middle of winter...
4) I Have Never appreciated that there are only five story structures to which all abide. I'm gutted that I found out.
5) I Have Never received a Valentines Card and not known who it was from. Well... not known for 24 hours.
6) I Have Never asked a group of techies to build a 90cm high, 90cm radius 'Trivial Pursuit Pie'. I don't think this is likely to happen again.
7) I Have Never had my car broken into or had anything stolen from me. 3 CD players! I won't be leaving stuff in my car overnight anymore.
8) I Have Never...
(been lost for words so regularly in a six week period)
9) I Have Never worked with such a big, commited, dedicated and enthusiastic cast and production team.

I Will Never be able to thank them enough...

In the car later, Carl told me he thought this was a bit camp (especially the '3 CD players' bit). However, he accepted that they were my notes, so it was up to me. He also counselled against the use of the small light to represent the lump in the breast, and the concept that I might be representing the father in the audience at the end of the show. I listened.

I found it very hard to get to sleep.

I was excited again.

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