I Call My Brothers jumps through time, and location and the actors multi-role therefore it's really hard to pin it down. Before rehearsals begun myself and the director, Tinuke Craig, had several discussions about the world of the play and her vision for staging it. This meant I went into the rehearsal room with a strong idea of how the show might look.
So in the first week Tinuke eased us into this world by equipping us with the knowledge to feel confident in tackling the play. We all spoke openly about our experiences of the themes of the play focusing on its prejudices. This proved to be an interesting discussion as our company consists of a mix of backgrounds and experiences from across the world. These findings were later used as reference points for character as well as further research.
The playwright Jonas Hassen Khemir wrote an article on his experiences of prejudice in Sweden, that went viral. (Link below.) We read this and looked at a talk he presented on the article. I found this to be extremely informative as it aided my understanding of the plays structure.
With all of that info the wonderful Sadeysa Greenaway-Bailey presented the model box explaining how her research had informed her design. Without giving too much away it's going to look fantastic! The one thing I have always loved about seeing shows at the Gate is that you walk in and the space always feels different.
Everyday we have begun our rehearsals with a game of 4 square. We have all gotten extremely competitive about it and we now have a league table. I am delighted to say I am currently winning! (I doubt my winning streak will last.)
After this we started to sketch through each scene, slowly beginning to understand each character by breaking them down and giving each moment an intention. By the end of week 1, we have already sketched through over half of the play.
I hope to report on my next blog that I am still holding onto my 4 square victory. Only time will tell.
Catch I Call My Brothers at the Gate Theatre from 10th November 2016.