I’m finishing this blog during our first tech rehearsal. Three days later it will be the first preview. The last four weeks almost feel like they never happened, while simultaneously feeling longer than four weeks that have just passed.
Going off of last Friday’s run, we start the week by going through the whole play again, scene by scene. Sometimes we do a part of a scene again and again, building off ideas that have suddenly appeared, and refining or identifying the bits that don’t. Jude and I talk about the pre-show on Monday lunch-time. On Tuesday, Ellen and Anthony (Artistic and Associate Director for the Gate respectively) come and see a run. Their notes afterwards talk about suggestions for a clearer, better structure that will support the show, and this in turn pushes changes, and cuts. A section involving Pia wearing a paschmina and sunglasses has been removed. I wish I could give you more context, but it wouldn’t help. I’m once again reminded that nothing is sacred, and everything can easily change.
On Friday, we leave our rehearsal room for the theatre, for what has been referred to once as ‘R&D’ and every other time as ‘Dicking Around Day’. The Gate has once again transformed, the only remains of Twilight being one or two faint pink footprints. All of the crew is together for the first time in a while. For a name with heavily implied informality, it’s really just a normal rehearsal with more people, more snacks and some dicking around (Ben the sound designer has a beautiful anecdote involving Kanye West and wolves). We run through the show with all the props and other pieces of set and somehow it feels like we have always been here. Pretentious I fear, but true. We come in on Saturday morning to finish going through the play and that’s it. Rehearsals, as we’ve known them, are over.
As I think about what else to write about, my mind goes back to random moments. The countless cups of tea, the playlist of break up songs we made on the first day, the very contentious discussion about man caves, the multiple things Jude has said that become wonderfully bizarre (’WWF now, Musicals later’) out of context. While I won’t miss the commute into London Bridge, I’ll miss the overall experience. Still, I’ve got a while before I can be nostalgic. There’s still another week until press night. It is however, the end of this blog series. I struggle with endings, specifically the desire to wrap everything up in a satisfying way. So maybe I’ll just slip away now. Come see the show, we can talk then.
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