Saturday, 10 December 2011

Last classes of 2011

Got my last set of classes today.

I always do a mental tally of what's been achieved over a term - nothing formal, just a kind of balance sheet to help me focus on what needs to be done next.  A priority roadmap, I suppose.

We have dates for all our productions and some of them are coming up very soon indeed.  Antigone needs to be ready in the first week of March - which essentially gives us 6 rehearsals (12 hours) plus a dress/tech to get it right.  Planning is on course for that.

The cast have the bones in the right place, but some are behind on the lines.  Among the principals, nice performances are emerging, but they need to find more variety.  With these heavy roles it's a great temptation to give each line the same weight in an attempt to convey all the ideas.  That leads to shouty, dull performances, so we'll be looking at finding ways to give some light and shade to the scenes.  Most of the story is basically a monster family row played out in public, but I think there needs to be a greater contrast in the rare moments when Chorus and principals are not on stage together.

Malfi is now fully blocked at last.  Spent Thursday working through the small bits we never managed to do before, worked through the fights and sent the cast home with instructions that lines must be learned for progress to be made.  Costuming on that is moving ahead as it's complex and a pain.  We can't do a "proper" period, so we'll be concocting a house-style.  If it is internally consistent with the world we're building, it will both work and look good.  Fabric and colour are the keys here.

Faustus has the longest rehearsal period.  It also has the widest spread of cast experience and the big issue here is to help them blend.  Everyone is talented and some are very promising, but for a lot of this large cast, this will be their first attempt at a major piece of classic storytelling.  I'm lucky enough to have been able to seed it through with some very good, very experienced senior members who are acting as mentors (whether they know it or not).  I am much further behind with costuming ideas on this one, but that isn't the priority here.  Not yet anyway.

As far as Bowes goes ... well now.  The nativity went well (I didn't see it, but my spies are everywhere).  We are now therefore back to Drama Club only.  What normally happens is that we get a lot of new members off the back of the nativity (which is partly the idea, after all).  They start again in January and by the end of the Spring term we should be working on whatever their summer show will be.  I'll write something for them.  The theme pretty much has to be the Olympics (2012, unavoidable).  Some kind of Greek myth I think. 

Cast will range in age from 6-11.  I will probably only have one or two boys at most.  Ability will also be varied.  Suggestions? 

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