With Martin still unwell, I decided that tonight we’d finish off the scene and a half we didn’t get to on Tuesday, and then start tinkering with each scene in turn to develop the comedy and characterisations, and to correct some poor positioning which had crept in.
In order to make this work, we needed to re-establish the layout of the set, so that everyone was aware of exactly where the “walls” between rooms, and the doorways to rooms, were. This is difficult in the Octagon because we can’t mark the floor, so Mr Fix-It the Producer (Martin) devised a framework of pieces of wood set out on the floor marking these boundaries. This was very helpful indeed and made it so much easier for me to make sure people were in the right places.
We also tried some different line readings, changes of tone, alternative emphases, and these made such a difference to the way the interactions developed. The on-off relationship between Clive and Rachel took on a complete change of gear as a “chance” conversation in the hall showed Rachel as the one in control while Clive dug himself into an ever increasing hole in his attempts to make her feel better. Poor Eddie was also in trouble as one person after another took him apart after he’d inadvertently pressed the wrong conversational button. Meanwhile his long suffering wife Pattie was developing an ever more acerbic tone, with Belinda running her a close second.
Things are starting to come together now. It’s a pity that next week we have two people away, but that can’t be helped. After that we have the luxury of an all day Saturday rehearsal, and two more evening rehearsals before get in. We still have some work to do, but that’s as it should be at this stage. I’m just praying for a following wind and no more unanticipated absences during the rest of the rehearsal period. Given that, and the hard work and commitment of a dedicated cast, this can, and I’m sure will, be a great show.