Thursday, 13 October 2011

Yes! Yes! Yes! Time for the tech next

I am about to go to bed and I will no doubt wake a little tired, but extremely proud of the SMAOS team and confident we have one hell of a show (pardon the pun) ready for opening night this Tuesday at the RNCM in Manchester.

The final floor rehearsal before the technical rehearsal is what I term 'crunch time'. You expect everyone to know their lines, entrances and exits, costumes to work, props to be used, characters to be held even if lines are dropped and you are asking yourself the big questions like 'am I bored?' or 'is the main part of this scene compelling enough?', 'does anything drag?'.

I asked for pace and energy from the cast and got it in abundance. Hopefully everyone heard me laughing away - I expect my chuckling is what led to the endorphins that are flying round me as I type.
Yes, we have a show that makes sense. 
Yes, we have a show that is lots of fun and bubbles with energy. 
Yes, there are some cracking performances.
Yes, the newly polished original and whacky ending will be unforgettable for the audience.
Yes, it looks marvellous (mostly credited to fun costumes and Lisa's incredible choreography - if you read this let it be known I bow down).

I feel my normal hugely optimistic self after tonight's rehearsal, but I realise a technical rehearsal is a different beast so I'm not complacent. It will require changes and adaption to a set with various levels and there will be lighting, smoke, new props and a huge giant screen with projections!

Energy can be difficult for amateurs to give particularly after a hard days work and only a small  production team watching. Some performers (most amateurs and I am especially guilty of this) raise the bar and give you that engaged energetic performance when there is a real live paying audience. As such, I know come Tuesday the bar will lift even higher. But, tonight everyone really pulled together, paid attention and delivered the goods so thank you.

Pace is a different beast. It is not about delivering lines quickly. It is the feel of the show and filling dead air by picking up queues very fast. Sometimes it relies on a lighting change or the choice of entrance. Parts of Once Bitten rattle along like an express train and I am very glad. The show came in at 1h8m for act 1 and 47m for act 2. That is a sensible length and means a beer in the bar by ten to ten. Despite this I want the challenge to shave at least 4 minutes off the first act by opening night. 

I ask for two things now from the company:
Firstly, to really have fun and focus on the show (move into top gear and check your lines etc.) 
and secondly to ask themselves whether they could do anything else to sell more tickets. 

It is great to hear some nights have sold out. The hard work and quality performances deserve a lively first night so go forth and help us find those unsuspecting victims who fancy taking their first bite ;-)

Finally, I've added a selection of photos to hopefully inspire and sell the show. In hindsight I would have taken more and got the company in costume tonight and asked an actual photographer to help.

Bring on the tech!!!
A selection of the beautiful female principals

The boys rehearsing the start of the show

Lisa the choreographer giving notes to Mags who plays Cindy the bunny girl!

A slide to be used in the show of our geek hero Zac

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