And everyone telling you, “Be of good cheer”

Tonight the lines were better, and we had a useful session, going through the puppet show scene which we’d missed out on Tuesday before doing some detail work on other scenes.

I now feel that, apart from one or two slightly sticky sub-scenes which need a little polishing, and a couple of pages we can’t work on until Clive gets back, we’ve tackled all the grouping and positioning mistakes which were niggling me, thought about how to point up the humour more, and brought out some extra characterisation. The main problem now is with pace, and I warned them at the end of tonight’s rehearsal that I would be pushing hard for faster cue pick-ups over the final couple of weeks. We plan to spend the morning on Saturday on a full run, and then during the afternoon work on a couple of bits which threw up problems tonight, together with sections which need more rehearsal to get the assurance which is necessary to up the pace.

What I think I need to do now is to stand back a bit and let them put in the continuous rehearsal they need, doing the play over and over again until they are fully confident that in fact all the building blocks they need are in place and that they are perfectly capable of putting it all together in performance in front of an audience. However, I need to hit the balance between encouragement and praise and cracking the whip when it’s necessary. If at times over the next couple of weeks they really hate Madam Director, I’ll probably be doing a good job.

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