When I first arrived at the rehearsal room it was empty, chairs stacked against the wall. The first thing that was brought in was the model box, which had impossibly tiny and detailed versions of what will eventually be in the theatre. Bit by bit, life-sized versions of those things have arrived. Baby toys which all make weird sounds, children’s books, two plastic babies. Scripts, mugs, a lunchbox from 2 days ago that I should definitely take home and wash (not in the model box). That corner becomes where sound design happens, this corner becomes where we sit down and talk. Over the week everyone formed a routine and a language to work within, and our keepy-uppy record reached 30.
A lot of odd leftover Christmas chocolate has been eaten, and four different pairs of dungarees have been worn as a kind of micro-trend emerged. I’ve been present in the room, making notes, observing, learning and responding. Sometimes trying not to get too emotional, as I’m not sure what use a gently weepy assistant director is, but the play is very evocative and funny and melancholy even at this early stage. Mainly I’ve been researching the vast amount of things which are referenced in the play, some of which, to be honest, are things I hoped never to google:
what is colic
statutory maternity leave uk
boxing day tsunami wave height
plastic waste on ocean beds
what time of day is most common for suicides
hormonal changes in new fathers
Turns out that sinkholes are terrifying, and a surprising amount of people are keen to watch videos of natural disasters. Nina, the playwright, has been with us in the room for the week, before going back to New York, and together with her the task has been to explore the questions and ideas and stories in the play. That time of discussion, investigation and storytelling has been thrilling. Now we start to make sense of all the stuff in the space, and hopefully beat our keepy-uppy record by the next time you hear from me.
Catch In the Night Time (Before the Sun Rises) at the Gate Theatre, 4th – 27th February.