May your days be merry and bright

It may actually be August instead of December, but it certainly was merry tonight at Bar Hill Octagon!

Not only did we have the drumming bear strutting its stuff, mimicked to great effect by Rosie, we also had the puppet theatre and some prototype “rehearsal puppets” – blocks of wood strung from wooden crosses for Steve and Rachel to practise using. Some “user comments” gave Martin a few modifications to work on before Thursday’s rehearsal, and the puppet theatre itself will also need a small re-design so that the collapsing scenery can be knocked over from the opposite side. The puppet show scene is hilariously funny, and had all those members of the cast who weren’t actually involved in it in gales of laughter (not to mention the director.) It’s also extremely demanding on Steve, as Bernard, and Rachel, as Pattie – very well done indeed to both of them. The two big “set pieces” of this show, the midnight seduction and the puppet show, both need a lot of rehearsal, so we’ll try to find some additional time for this scene apart from the mainstream sessions.

With Rosie with us tonight, we revisited scene 3, the Snakes and Ladders game, and this went so much better than at the previous rehearsal. Once again, I was delighted to see several people trying out without their books – just using them to refer to now and again to refresh their memories. We have a couple more rehearsals before official “books down”, which is when these early attempts to manage without the scripts will pay off – it’s so much less daunting when you’ve already had a few goes at flying solo. If, as I hope, it doesn’t prove too much of a hurdle, I can start on the fun part of directing – finding those small changes to positioning, vocal delivery, body language and facial expressions, which point the comedy up and really make it work, as well as finding those darker moments which counterpoint it.

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