It wouldn’t be tech/get in period without the simple fact I got to bed last night at half past midnight and my body clock was awake at 6am – even after thirteen hours of painting, painting and more painting!Yesterday we had the ‘get in’, meaning it was all hands on deck to put the set, props, lighting and costumes in to the Arcola. Now this is no mean feat on any production, however, with the large amounts of component parts going in, it is an epic task. Our production manager has, I believe, started work at 6am this morning – talk about dedication!
I, on the other hand, have put down my paintbrush and am now writing a blog entry before I get to the theatre and chaos ensues. I love tech periods. No really……… honestly……….I do! Actually, I am very excited if a little nervous of the fact the first 8 minutes of the show will probably take all of today to tech. Still, I am in safe hands with the team around us. Cat Webb, our lighting designer, is already making headway with the lighting department. Cat and her team worked thoughout yesterday to rig and begin focussing the lights. I will admit my knowledge of the terminology is basic, but Cat is positively superb at working with me, as director, to tell the story through light. Having been on our last two projects (and dealt with a broken lighting board during The Revenge of Sherlock Holmes!) we are so lucky to have her back.
Yesterday was the ‘sitzprobe’ for the show, where the band and cast meet and sing through the show with all the music. Stewart and I had been fortunate to hear the band practising the day before, but to hear the show coming together musically was sensational. Mark Cumberland (Orchestrator) has created a small miracle with his arrangements and the work being done by Andrew Corcoran (MD) and Phil Cornwell (Associate MD) is genuinely breathtaking. The beauty of this 5 piece band is quite incredible. They are, as we hoped, a chamber ensemble of instruments that had everyone with tears in their eyes at some point yesterday.
The music department for this production are nothing short of extraordinary and I have no shame in saying that what is being achieved at this Off West End level defies belief. Fans of Rodgers and Hammerstein are in for a treat and those who don’t know the score will marvel at why they had never heard it!!
I should just mention that we finished our final run through on Friday after 4 weeks of rehearsals. What an emotional run through it was and a testament to everyone’s hard work over the last four weeks. We have had Kim Poster, our creative consultant for Caorusel, come and watch two of our runs of the whole show, offering an incredible insight into Carousel and drawing things from the text and score that take it to the next level.
Our wardrobe team that includes Natalia and Beth are working tirelessly on costumes. They have now settled in backstage and are working through the incredible amount of detail that has gone into Stewart’s costumes. This morning I had a chance to look at the wardrobe bible for each character (a document that shows the actor and wardrobe team the finished look for each costume). Wow! There are literally hundreds of component parts to the massive array of costumes. These are a feat in themselves and the details for each character are amazing. From bags to brooches, to hats, gloves, jewellery and shoes, every detail is there.
We are so excited to be in the Arcola as of today, finding our way around the building and learning how the theatre works. The set is almost in and we have a long three days ahead of us gearing up the opening performance on Wednesday evening. I cannot stress to people to make sure you book! If you can get to see what is happening right now with this beautiful piece, I can assure you you won’t be disappointed!
£15 preview seats at http://www.arcolatheatre.com