Directors Blog: A Monstrous Production

Good Evening Folks!

First off, thank you to Adam who gave me a week off last week! But up until show week we resume normal service with my updates. 

So, we returned to rehearsals this week, we did two different rehearsals to usual this week. As I had given the cast over Christmas to get their lines down (an extension on my original deadline) our first rehearsal back was a line run to make sure we were all books down. Then the second rehearsal was the Regiment only. This was a chance for us to go over important things – like marching and standing to attention. Getting 8 people (one with a limp and one 7ft tall) to do things in sync is much harder than it looks. I also got a chance to have a chat with them about how they interact with each other. One of my favourite activities (from a direction point of view) is to ask them to stand where they think they are in relation to the others on the stage at different points of the play. This is where I kick myself as I wish I’d taken a picture of them doing it! Actually some of their responses surprised me, because I would have placed them differently. But that encourages conversation – why is “Wazzer” standing far off, why was “Carborundum” always away from the group, and of course whenever anyone moved why did “Igor” move to stand equidistant from everyone else. I hope the cast didn’t think I was mad! But it’s not just about learning lines, it’s about who you are, what are your motivation, what is your relationship to the people around you. Although we’re in a fantasy world the audience has to relate to your characters. 

Which brings us to Sunday – we had a long rehearsal today, our first one with props! We worked long and hard on act 1. The second time round I was so engrossed watching them that I forgot to take notes for a couple of scenes! Which although not massively helpful for rehearsal point of view is a brilliant sign for the play! 

It didn’t end there for me and my PM, we still have lots of organising. So back to Monstrous HQ for coffee and planning. First order of business – wigs! I have a lot of cast with long hair that needs to be short. I cannot ask them to cut it off. I think they would tell me to take a running jump – I would… Here’s a tip – if it doesn’t matter how the hair looks (and I mean like they’ve cut it themselves) buy long haired wigs and cut them yourselves. It will save you an absolute fortune! So my house is slowly becoming a wig shop – here’s our practice and a pre-cut version. It actually turned out pretty well. PM thought it best to cut the wig on my head – I assume she didn’t trust me with scissors near her hair 🙄

We then went through the costume list to work out if I had arranged to order the right stuff – we’re hiring a lot of our military jackets from Stage Style Costumes in Bristol – they have been great! I’m lucky enough that SH doesn’t live that far from them so he can pick them up and drop them off for me! We went through what I had planned to order and what we needed (cue me being very smug because I was actually spot on -unorganised, forgetful, easily confused me!). 

We went over lots of other stuff too but I’m not going to bore you with that! 

With three weeks to go we still have a lot of other stuff to do but we’re getting there. 

Tickets are selling fast – so don’t forget to book! And I shall catch up with you all next week! Until then #WeAreMonstrous!