By Quinn Richards
As an actor, it’s a gift to have at least one person living in close proximity to the rehearsal space, in case of double bookings. Our director, Codelia, lives a two minute drive from our space and so scheduling a rehearsal at her home is comfortable and logical. In this time we are able to peacefully rehearse songs and revisit scenes for line runs in an incredibly hospitable environment. And this is how our rehearsal started on Thursday. It also gave us a focus of what we wanted to achieve later in the day when we were able to get into our formal rehearsal room. Upon returning to the Brewhouse, just a fortunately named building for an actor with no facilities for the consumption of alcohol, we set about focusing on the late scenes of act one. In our first rehearsals for Cromer, because of the huge task set before us in learning the whole play in a short space of time, some of the darker and deeper nuances were left alone. However on Thursday, with the extra time we have set for rehearsals, we were able to see the cause and effects of the scenes and play with possibilities of choices, which as an actor is extremely gratifying. The proximity of the rehearsal space to Cordelia’s house was used for the second in that day as Hayley and I stayed the night at our directors house and were able to go over lines and rehearse parts of the play we were unsure of in comfort.
With tea running through our veins, Friday charged at us. Our task was to complete and rehearse as much of Act two as possible. With the extra time for rehearsal for this tour, I have noticed that the more serious moments of the play have become darker as we explore them. In contrast to this though however, during rehearsals, we have been able to play with the lighter moments and therefore make them funnier. With this new confidence that the quality of our piece, which was already fun and entertaining for an audience, was improving, the commitment to each individual moment has increased. At points like Run like the Fox, which requires energy to convey the fear that Thomas Easter has of being caught and likely killed for being a highwayman, our physical investment to portray this is evident and I think that this song particularly will be very exciting for an audience. Physicality will also add humor and tension further on in Act 2, during the moment in which Temperence holds up Thomas as it is a moment we are very proud of. The final confrontation between Thomas and Turpin is a moment in which we have been able to create a moment of gravitas, with tension being created with stillness physically and by the quick spat out delivery between myself and Geir. We had a chance to see the final additions to our costumes, which see designs of the eighteenth century with contemporary twists. These have been cleverly crafted by Julia, our production designer. As the first week has concluded, I feel confident that this will be an exciting and educational show for all ages.