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Puzzle pieces

September 16, 2019

Yesterday afternoon was our first rehearsal for the panto. I love this part of the process.

As any director will tell you, the playwright can only give you so much. Obviously the script is the heart and soul of any play, the words without which no play would exist.

The script tells you what the characters say. The author also describes the place in which the action occurs (the set) and generally provides some basic staging instructions. (“Mustapha pulls the chair away and Kasim falls on the floor”.) Other than that, it’s the director’s job to see how it should look, to have the vision as it were.

Where should people be standing? Is anyone upstaging another actor? What should they be doing? In what order are they entering? How does it look?

We rehearsed four scenes yesterday. In one scene, the actors all followed the stage directions provided in the script. Unfortunately for one character, no stage directions were provided beyond a certain point in the scene, which left her simply standing, doing nothing at all, for several minutes. Okay, that wasn’t going to work. She might not have any lines, but she needed something to do. Well, she’s a serving girl, so let’s have her serving some food. Problem solved.

And then there are the moments when you suddenly realise there’s a good sight gag to insert. Oh, yes, definitely. That’s much funnier.

It’s all bits and pieces at this point, but oh so much fun fitting the pieces together.

And, if you’re very lucky, in the end it will look like this.

robin hood

Okay, I know this is a short entry, but honestly it did take up my minimum of fifteen minutes and I really do have dozens of things I need to do.

See you tomorrow.

 

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