The team are travelling this week. One of us is headed to Bulgaria and one of us is darting between New York and Milwaukee. The joys of doing ‘a day job’ as well as producing and creating a show! That leaves the production in the capable hands of director Dan – he’s got it covered.
Reflecting back on the first week of rehearsals it’s been a fantastically mixed bag. On the one hand there has been brilliant work done by our talented cast. On the other, the joys of producing a show that sits on top of another production, has given me the odd scary moment. At one stage I thought the only two items that make up our set (a chair and an upright piano) might be in jeopardy.
At the news that the piano on stage would not be tuned, I went into problem solving mode. Digital pianos were being ordered and a whole ‘Act 2’ reveal incorporated to move from the de-tuned piano to one that would fit with our other music and instruments. Choreography was being re-worked and entrances/exits re-blocked. All this in the space of 45 minutes. I refused to be worried about a problem and wanted to move straight into a new way of working. No point in moaning about this – we know what the deal was when we agreed to build our show on top of, not one but two, other shows.
Fortunately it was just me doing my best ‘I don’t understand what’s going on’ and have missed a step impression. The piano was going to be fine and tuned, just sounding a bit battered and worn. The sound of an old and ‘funky’ instrument, rather than pure and clean one is exactly the sound we are after. Oh and we now have the perfect chair from the National Theatre. Yay!
Producing a show that has to sit comfortably within the design of another larger piece is an interesting challenge. Ours has to be flexible enough to fit, but can’t just be plonked in the space. One of the reasons we’re part of the Spring season at the King’s Head is that our requirements are the same as two main shows. It’s been exciting to be thrown challenges and restrictions and to see where that can lead you. It’s made us be more creative and a little bit braver in places. It’s been helped by the fact that the King’s Head are such a relaxed, friendly and open group to work with. I can’t wait to see the results in just over two weeks time.
Photography by Jamie Scott-Smith