Saturday, September 13, 2008
On one hand Narnia is hotting up in terms of more rehearsals, and getting closer to the opening night, while on the other hand all the work on the acting side is struggling to survive against the necessities of sorting out all the technical logistics jobs. And being a Narnian production, the technical aspects are considerable: frequent lighting changes, music and sound effects and voice-overs. But over and above this is the complexity of the scene changes, which in this production are made more difficult by having to shift the Dawn Treader around the stage – constantly.
Often it’s the script in a production that gets cut; today it was some of the scenery. Parts of the boat are just so unwieldy at speed that they’re going to go. This will truncate it a bit, but better that than having people getting steamed up backstage because the thing is just so awkward.
Last night we had a straight tech rehearsal without lines; the problem with these is that the actors lose interest after a while and starting playing up. Not seriously, but concentration becomes an issue. Today we had a proper rehearsal, but with all the scene changes incorporated. Oh, dear. It’s the sort of rehearsal that makes you want to go out and refund the ticket money. Well, it would if you didn’t keep a positive attitude. Fortunately the backstage people are, for the most part, fairly equable characters. They don’t need to be temperamental like the actors (!). However, it must be said that the actors were pretty well behaved too, all things considered, and in spite of injuries…
Firstly Caspian tripped up the poop deck stairs and took some skin off his knee – enough to have him dropping blood all over the stage. Secondly, Eustace, who, you might remember, have a bit of his forehead skinned the other night with Caspian’s sword, twisted his foot while running below the stage from one side of the other. And then, right towards the end, as I was being lifted up out of the ‘water’ – after Reepicheep has inadvertently gone overboard – I gave my shin a sharp enough knock against the side of the boat to give it a nasty graze, something that shouldn’t happen again, as that part of the boat is due for removal.
So all in all, a tough rehearsal today. Another long one tomorrow, and then the dress rehearsal. Fortunately there’s a night between the dress and the first performance. That may give those who need it, time to sort out all the last minute details – the ones that seem to be accumulating by the hour!