Friday, 19 February 2010

Rehearsal report 7

In advance of the rehearsal for 'Mother and I' I had transcribed improvisations from the previous session and restructured the script; adding in the new material we’d talked about and improvised around, and had a stab at an ending.
I am not fully convinced by the work I have done on the script so the rehearsal/workshop’s aims were clear. To establish what does and what doesn’t work and to try to work out how to fix any of the problems. I think that the material generated through prior improvisations is sufficient to select from if any more exchange is required. Other ways to fix might be through restructuring/reordering what’s already scripted.
It takes a while to get the rehearsal/workshop moving. This is because of unavoidable delay, ill health and tiredness. We’re all a bit bedraggled!  It would not be right to push the rehearsal/workshop forward too aggressively. We are also competing with the noisy performance in the room next door!
We begin by reading through the revised script, and as always, it reads better than I expected. Though there are some obvious problems, strands of logic that seem to come from nowhere (though these are actually appropriate for Lucinda character) and an ending that seems extreme with no lead up to the climax.
We review the transcripts from the improvisations, this doesn’t prove to be the instant solution I had hoped it would be.
We work through the script in the rehearsal room, looking at how performance changes the meanings of the text, we adjust status and look at positioning in the space to emphasis the status shifts. We also look at text and take out anything that lowers Fiona’s status, accusations of affairs, poor parenting skills etc. as these things appear to be truths when they are intended to be demonstrative of Lucinda’s irrational attempts at deflection. We also identify that the beginning is going on too long. All of these things help, but there are still glaring problems with the script, mainly the ending which doesn’t work at all as it is written. Ruth takes a softer slant on the ending in her performance of Lucinda which makes it seem more truthful, but it’s clear that this still needs a lot of work.
Energies and performances are impaired due to the conditions I’ve outlined above and also because the performers are working with scripts in their hands so the exchanges are not at all spontaneous.
I set a deadline to have the text finalised, one week on Saturday.
I agree to consult my tutor and another writer friend about the script and Ruth agrees to contact a mutual friend to see if he’ll come in to look at what we have so far. An outside view is necessary, we’re so close to the work that we can’t be objective.

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