People gonna come here from everywhere, and I’m almost there.
Week three update!
We have just completed our first and final week of rehearsals in Coventry. Next week we delve headfirst into the inevitable mind mushing that is the tech week before opening on Saturday. Wowzee, that’s close. It all seems very fast approaching, but in theatre-land a lot can be achieved in a week. When I was writing my week 2 update, we had just about managed to struggle through an incomplete run of act 1 in the Hackney empire rehearsal room. A week on and we have ran the whole show. On the stage. With moving pieces of set. And some props. And me only having to call ‘LINE PLEASE’ once (maybe twice). Pretty impressive work, if I do say so myself.The ‘girls’ hard at work…
I’m so impressed with how everything has come together this week. It’s been a fairly demanding schedule working roughly 10-8 most days, with a cheeky half day to start and finish off the 6 day week. And that doesn’t even cover the amount of time that cast members have been putting in rehearsing their music and lines outwith rehearsal. One such accordion player was kicked out of the theatre for still rehearsing after 10pm! Like all of the cast, Julian is a real example of commitment and dedication and I think it demonstrates just how much work goes into learning an ‘actor-muso’ show. Our incredible cast are pulling out all stops: they’ve learnt over 30 music cues, as well as sharing out over thirty five characters between them, taking on a huge range of accents and physicalities in the process. Sometimes they have to sing, act and dance (lots of marching and bopping) at the same time. They’ve also been working tirelessly on their puppetry skills for our 3 wonderful animals, who will undoubtably steal the show. Piece of cake!
Speaking of cake, on Saturday we celebrated Nathan’s birthday (Any excuse for singing and cake). We sang STOLAT (that’s happy birthday in Polish remember!), gave him a bag of treats and the cast and crew contributed to a ‘new jeans fund’ to replace the pair that he comically split at the crotch earlier this week. So although we’re working hard, we still make time to treat each other and ourselves. Very important when you’re away from home, I think.
I’ve spent a lot of time this week going on walks and exploring Coventry. It’s a very emotional journey for Ruth so after bawling my eyes out in the rehearsal room (seriously, bring some tissues to this one. Raging river!) it’s nice to get out of the rehearsal room and enjoy some fresh air. Other people may not be so keen but I absolutely adore Coventry. After being almost completely destroyed after the brutal blitz bombing in 1940, the city is a weird mix of beautiful old pieces of surviving architecture and huge areas of concrete that must have been quickly thrown up in the 50s and 60s. The culture is incredibly diverse and the people seem to be really friendly. It only took until my first morning when I woke early to go for a run, for a stranger to be kind enough to offer me a can of Special Brew. I kindly refused – 8am is a bit early, even for me. I’m looking forward to going sightseeing properly and hope to share my thoughts and pictures of Coventry in a later post.
Back to The Silver Sword! This week was very busy with press interaction and the brilliant marketing team at the Belgrade Theatre set up some wonderful opportunities to create some buzz around the show. We had a small invited press call where we performed the Prologue, 1st scene and the Refugee song from the top of Act 2. You can see a short excerpt here!
This was followed by a question and answer with Suzie (director/writer), Steve (composer) and Scott Brooker (puppet designer extraordinaire). Some people were also asked to record some material for the BBC. On Thursday, Ludwig (the puppet dog), Tom (playing Jan, and apparently a young Robbie Williams lookalike) and myself were invited to the BBC Coventry and Warwickshire radio studio to speak on the Trish Addudu afternoon show. We had brilliant fun with Trish. Ludwig read the paper like a good dog and Tom even managed to be superbly witty. We even managed to remember our lines when asked to perform an extract from the show on the spot. You can listen to the show at about 2h:16min in here.
So, this time next week we will have shown our first preview of The Silver Sword in the B2 auditorium of the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry. EEK! (If you can imagine, the noise I make here is like a dying pterodactyl, you’re on the money). Wish us luck and many broken legs and do send lots of haribo to the Belgrade Theatre stage door to aid in my survival of tech week.
Until opening night!
There’s been trials and tribulations
You know I’ve had my share
But I’ve climbed the mountain, I’ve crossed the river
And I’m almost there