Written by Rachel Nwokoro, Assistant Director Lela & Co.
“This war is bad for business”
An immediate indication that it’s business time is when you come back from Bank Holiday weekend and the Stage Manager has a headset and blazer on. It can only mean we have reached that inevitable point of the rehearsal process – the Tech War. I say war, partly because it is an easy way to get another quotation from the play into my blog but also because sitting in plot or technical sessions is definitely not the favourite part of the process for every member of an artistic team. However, I have to admit… I love it. Tech sessions are an incredible opportunity to work with members of the crew. A bubble of LX cues and sound effects, I love being able to witness different departments function as an impressively well-oiled machine.
Ellie Williams and Nic Donithorn (Stage Managers) can be seen as a haze of smiles as they run around ready to go to battle, footing ladders and sending out calls with what I can only describe as a legion of different types of tape at the ready. If you are yet to work with or observe a Stage Manager in action – here is a mantra to live by – “SM’ll fix it”. Their bottomless kit consistently amazes me as it equips them for every situation you send their way. I think they have powers. Never question them.
With Lela & Co. we are in the fortunate position to actually be ahead of schedule. I think it is a testament to how attuned cast and crew are to what we are trying to achieve. As an Assistant Director, this is the period of time where I get to consolidate all the progress the play has made and make sure that by the time we open, I know it inside out. This is to ensure that when I start watching the run, I can give feedback to Jude Christian (Director) and the company in note sessions (I’ve become adept at making notes in the dark). As a result, I get to work with every department closely and am able to learn a huge amount about some challenging and intricate work.
The closer we get to opening night, there is not a moment that I do not see Katie West and David Mumeni working tirelessly and it definitely shows. They are such a great example of how fruitful it is when great talent is combined with hard work.
I was in a lunch meeting today and was asked how I felt about working at the Court and was lucky enough to be able to assess, again, how grateful I am to be excited to come into work.
Today I got to eat candyfloss and draw a penis on a wall.
That isn’t a quotation – it just happened.
@RayNwoks – [email protected]