15 December 2014 • Alisdair Pidsley
‘Kalki’ Rehearsal blog – Week One‘Kalki’ Rehearsal blog – Week One
So, the first week of rehearsals for ‘The Chronicles of Kalki’ is wrapped up and under our collective belts. We’ve learnt a lot, discovered a lot, and unearthed a lot of questions that still need to be answered. And that is surely the best way for a first week of rehearsals to go? To have covered a great deal of substantial and necessary groundwork, and revealed a way forward to tackle what still lies ahead.
There have been the usual considerations of a company coming together for the first time – and it has been a joy all getting to know one another. The very first thing we did on day one was to tell one another a bit about ourselves – stories, anecdotes, memories – that related to our experiences at school, our childhood friends, and some slightly heavier areas – anything we knew about running away, or bullying.
A lot of my work prior to rehearsals starting – and indeed during this first week – has been gathering research on a whole range of topics – Hindu spirituality and mythologies, Police procedures, truancy, comic books. The list goes on. And it has been exceptionally rewarding for me and for Alex, the director, to be able to bring this research to the actors and see how they grapple with it and consume it in to their characters as they begin to take shape.
The week has consisted mainly of ‘round-the-table’ work – going through the play line by line, word by word with a fine tooth-comb and identifying the facts that exist within the text, and the questions it throws up, some of which we have started to answer this week, others which we need, at this stage, to acknowledge and be aware of, so that we can answer them further down the line. This has enabled the actors to begin to get a real sense of their character, without yet setting anything in stone.
‘Kalki’ is an exceptionally exciting project to be working on, about the difficulties and challenges of friendship, of faith in an idea and of growing up. It’s feisty, necessary, funny and sad, and has just the right mix of playground ‘cool’ and ‘un-cool’! And after an intellectually stimulating first week, we’re ready to dive in and get started on week two.