Rehearsals, the blood, sweat and tears (more often from laughter) the audience never sees

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Myself and Alex Wakeham rehearsing A Few Good Men earlier this year

Rehearsals commenced for the next production I’m involved in, The Matchgirls, last night, it was great to finally get stuck in, after knowing for a couple of months I had got the part of George Bernard Shaw.

I love the rehearsal period of a production, it’s a time of discovering more about the play, yourself and each other and the camaraderie developed in productions is like nothing else. This show has a large cast of varying ages and abilities, but I got a good “vibe” from everyone last night, that I think bodes well for the rehearsals and more importantly the actual production.

I always feel a bit miffed that the audience of a production only ever see the final product. They never get to see how that came to be. The creative process of taking a script (and score in this case too), and realising that on the stage is what fascinates me about the theatrical process. Currently on TV in the UK is the programme Strictly Come Dancing and while I enjoy seeing the Saturday night dance, I love seeing the video of the couples rehearsing and training the week prior to the show, to see how they and the dance has developed, from just an idea in the choreographers head to a stunning (or not in some cases) piece of dance on the Saturday night.

My role in The Matchgirls isn’t a huge one, and so it’ll give me time to sit back and observe the rehearsal process and hopefully assist others as and when applicable. It can be a very draining experience rehearsing, physically, mentally and emotionally, but it’s necessary for us to push ourselves in order to put on a good piece of theatre.

This will also be the first time I’ve played an historical person on stage too, and one who himself was a playwright makes for quite a unique opportunity. I enjoy his writing and actually feel quite chuffed to be portraying one of my literary inspirations on stage. I’m fortunate as he’s the same age as me in this play, and so I had a look online to see if there were any photos of him from this era of his life and this is what I found;

So I have some work to do in the beard department! However I do like his suit and look forward to being kitted out in something similar.

As the process develops I’ll log some of my observations here, and hope to see some of you at the production in February. (tickets are released at the end of December)

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2 thoughts on “Rehearsals, the blood, sweat and tears (more often from laughter) the audience never sees

  1. Sounds great D! My own acting experience is limited, but from other contexts I completely know what you mean about the richness, fun and satisfaction of the ongoing creative process before you get to the final, more public event or product. It’s one of the great joys in life.

    I’ll keep an eye out for your notice about tickets, etc. – as I do still make it to London every once in a while. I’m completely skint, mind, but am working on rectifying that!

    PS this is the first time I’ve actually read your blog… my life has been too complex of late generally to do much reading… but good on ya mate.

  2. Good to hear from you Bonnie!

    Hope 2011 is a good one for you and I’m sure our paths will cross in the not too distant future.

    Esther and I are hoping to be down BoA way later this year (no doubt taking in a show at the Theatre Royal too), we’ll let you know once it’s been confirmed.

    Light, Love and Peace

    D

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