The end of our second week at the Chocolate Factory and the phenomenon of ‘nibbles’ has taken over the rehearsal room. Mr Miles is initially to blame for filling a small prop glass goblet full of wasabi peas and placing them centre-stage (on our desk). For those of you who haven’t tried them yet, stay away, wasabi peas are addictive. But perhaps not as addictive as the salted edamame beans which followed the next day. And when they are so well presented, who can resist? After that, it became quite a tradition of attempting and failing (“right, this really, really is my last one”, “will someone please take these away?!”) to stop compulsively munching. A lovely present from Claire, the General Manager at Paines Plough, had a detrimental effect when the goblet became a cornucopia of Haribo. A very hyper rehearsal session followed. Mr Miles finally ended the craze by sobering us up with dried fruit and nuts instead of crunchy/salty/sugary treats. Remarkably fewer visits to our desk today.
My musical knowledge has expanded considerably since working on Mr Bartlett’s play. Having missed out in my teens, I am now having my “Stone Roses moment” and enjoying it considerably.
Rehearsals are in a great place. We are already running full Acts and solid shapes are beginning to form. Each time a scene is run it brings with it new improvisations, details and startling moments. It has become increasingly clear that this is the type of exciting realism that director Mike Alfreds champions as truly live theatre; theatre which is “creative, spontaneous, curious, enterprising [and] responsive to others”. It is a delight to watch.
The production side of things is ticking along at a great pace with new pieces of furniture being lugged up the steep Factory steps each day. Intelligent (and unintelligible) technical talk of plug sockets, gutted televisions and tiles make me glad I am only a director and doubly grateful that we have such professionals working to make this show happen.
By Caitlin McLeod