Rocking around the Christmas Tree

Last night Chris and Alex had a rehearsal strictly “a deux”, working on the midnight jamboree under the Christmas tree. 4 pages, but it took over an hour to block – as Alex said, there’s a helluva lot going on!

When I later documented all the moves, I realised that we’d left out a whole section of jollity involving a very noisy alarm clock. So I spent a fair bit more time this morning working out how to accommodate it, and how to end up with the two of them, plus a considerable number of props, in the right place at the right time. Could’ve sworn it all worked on paper, but once again tonight I found it’s a completely different matter with real actors. However, by the time the rest of the cast arrived we’d got the bare bones of it sorted. It needs a bit more thought and a few tweaks to make it all work fluently, so we’ll have to have another session for the two of them alone. No point in making the rest of the cast sit around with nothing to do.

With tonight’s rehearsal we reached, as Churchill put it, the end of the beginning. It has been an extraordinarily demanding play to block, and everyone has been extremely patient and professional during this part of the rehearsal process. Many thanks, guys. Next week should be more fun as we start to work on each scene in detail – I hope to get two or three goes at a scene during an evening. And any brave soul who is willing to have a go can try with their books down. I must remember to stock up with chocolate biscuits for those who boldly go . . .

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