This week has been about refining and nurturing the many different aspects to the production of The Unknown Island. I’ve managed to sit in on the exciting discussions between Ellen and the lighting designer: Lizzie Powell, sound designer: Josh Anio Grigg and set designer: Rosie Elnile and it’s superb to see how original ideas are being cultivated and how obstacles are overcame. Exciting and ground-breaking things (in my unbiased opinion) are forming and just by ears-dropping in on these conversations, I am definitely learning lots!
We proceeded to week 2 in the same fashion we left week one; that is trying things out with the cast and having discussions afterwards. We have had beautiful things come from more intimate work in smaller groups, which were then shared amongst ourselves and are now feeding into the show. It has been mind-blowing to see Ellen and the cast bring the many different voices in the Saramago story to the fore (unusual props and eccentric costumes have also contributed) and it is wonderful to continuously watch this develop.
Our new rehearsal room has been made to feel like home thanks to our stage manager, Jenny Skivens – our research is plastered on the walls, our markings are in place to reflect the unique set design and it wouldn’t be home without our customary four square grid. This set up does make us forget about the capricious lights that randomly go on and off depending on what kind of mood they are in…
As things are taking a solid shape, I have a final thought to share: The wealth of things covered in this story continues to amaze and move me and a delicate and intricate approach in regards to addressing them all is being taken… All in all, within this story, is something for everyone.
See you soon!
The Unknown Island runs from 11 September – 7 October. There are limited £10 preview tickets available, book yours here.
Image taken by Cameron Slater Photography.