LOVE LOVE LOVE fourth week of rehearsals


A very excited “over and out” from us at London Bridge as we complete our final day between these lovely, draughty Chocolate Factory walls and head to the Royal Court to begin our tech. Next week we will, no doubt, remember fondly its pockets of heat, its scattered red pillars and the Donner und Blitz that framed each afternoon session, as if on cue. I have seen more storms in London during this past week than I have in my whole time living in England. We seem to attract them. Pathetic fallacy? Very possibly.

We discovered that the place is also, possibly, haunted. A ghost passed through our rehearsal room during Act Two on Friday. It rattled the huge stable doors at one end almost off its hinges and then made a sneaky escape through the main door out into the stairway with a move and a shake. It certainly caused a collective shiver. Come to think of it, the front door has been acting quite ghostly during this whole process. Unable to fully close (due to the fact that it self-locks), the door dithers and creaks every 15 minutes causing all three of us behind the desk to turn expectantly towards it, convinced someone is surreptitiously trying to enter. We do this every 15 minutes, without fail. We never lea

The goblet saga continues.. the chalice has somehow made its way onstage and thus has become a minor character in the final act (complete with those dastardly wasabi peas). Watch out for it.

“Cheese Thursday” was the major event this week – a regular Royal Court tradition I hadn’t experienced before. And I really do mean ‘experienced’. We were informed by Stage Management and we got excited. It was discussed days in advance. I stressed the need to delegate (the horror of everyone turning up armed only with chutney, loomed in my mind). When the grand day finally arrived, our party of eleven was dismally diminished to only three hard-core cheesists. Their loss of course. Borough Market offered and we gladly accepted and a fantastical feast followed. Apples, grapes, chutney, spek, smelly brie, smoked cheddar, gorgeous stilton, oat cakes and french loaf. Olives were a slight deviation but welcomed by all involved. Needless to say, I went on quite a cheese roller-coaster that afternoon: a glorious cheese high was followed by a cheese low(er) which finally settled into a cheese lull for the rest of the day.

And finally, the Guardian crossword has taken the company by storm. Small victories and huge frustrations are played out over tea breaks. Mr Miles continuously spoils the fun by knowing every answer so we are forced to ban him from taking part and only defer to his vast intellect in emergencies.

We finished the week with two full runs of the play for small audiences of production team members. To see it all together like that for the first time was astounding. If one can watch it in a rehearsal room, with all the sounds of London Bridge zooming through the windows at high speed, and still feel that it is delightful, devastating, captivating and breath-catching, then we’re in for something pretty special indeed.

And to end, an attempt at a (somewhat) cryptic crossword clue:

“Seen three times in red: what a sight for old Peter Jones” (4)

By Caitlin McLeod