When it’s been a good rehearsal I go home and have a nice glass of wine. When it’s been a bad one I go home and have a beer. Tonight was definitely a beer night.
That puppet show scene is a so-and-so at the best of times, and tonight certainly wasn’t the best of times. As always, it all depends on the lines.
Hearing a cast stumbling through a scene during which the person who says the most is the prompt is a deeply painful experience for a director. I expect it’s deeply painful for the cast as well, but just then I didn’t have any sympathy to spare for them. At the end of it there was only one thing to do. The entire scene. Again. No tea break. Go and get yourself a drink when you’ve got a moment.
Second time through, the am dram fairy took pity on us and it was much better. Still not good, but miles better. I felt vindicated in having been No More Mrs Nice Guy, and actually, I think, they felt better too. It’s all about security. I read somewhere that actors look to a director to make sure they aren’t going to feel a fool on stage. In other words, they need to trust you to sort out the problems. If that means being tough on them, so be it. I did remember to thank them all for their patience at the end of the session, and I got a hug or two, so that’s probably OK then. Onwards and upwards. Next week we start running full acts. This is going to be a great show. This IS going to be a great show . . .