Last night eight of us gathered together to do the first 'public' read-through of the musical my collaborator and I have been working on during this year. At this stage it was sans music, though there is some music actually written - in fact it was a bit odd for me going back to reading stuff as lines that will eventually be sung as lyrics.
I'd divvied up the parts between the eight of us, and some of the actors had a ball getting 'into character' - and gave the rest of us a laugh as well at this unexpected dimension to the reading. I was really chuffed at the way they all took it to heart and came out with unexpected nuances - and occasional misreadings that added to the humour. It's quite an achievement swapping from character to character (there are getting on for thirty speaking parts in the script, some big, some tiny - and of course many of them will be doubled up in the production, that is, two or three parts will be played by the same actor) but the cast did wonderfully, and seldom missed a beat.
I keep calling them the 'cast' - more than one of them enthused about getting on and rehearsing in the near future. Unfortunately, that's not quite going to happen: the music has to be completed yet, along with the instrumental scoring (worse, in a way: I've decided to change the instrumentation, which will mean further revising of the score - but it's necessary). We're looking at a possible production date in the first half of 2012.
Which seems a long way away. But one more step has been taken on the trip, and what's more, we now have several other enthusiasts involved, which is what the show will need if it's to really get off the ground.
One of these days it'll get a name, too!