| Rehearsal Diary

Technical Rehearsals and Previews

We are now in ‘Tech Week’. How quickly that has come about, and what a journey it has been. It feels great to be in the theatre as a company because we feel we are ready for this – ready for lights, sound and, most importantly, an audience.

view of stage from tech desk
The Lieutenant of Inishmore technical rehearsals. Photo: Marc Brenner

For our first technical rehearsal we begin to work slowly through the play, stopping and starting to adjust sound levels and lighting states. It’s fascinating to watch our Sound Designer, Adam Cork, and Lighting Designer, Neil Austin, at work. They’re wonderful and offer Michael many ideas to think about. It’s always a special moment when you see the scenes lit on stage for the first time.

Tech is a process that lasts over three days. It’s been known from the start what a technically heavy show this is, but you really see it during this process. Along with the lights and sound, we have a front cloth, a huge amount of props, live cats and lots of blood. It’s fair to say it’s an interesting, exciting and highly technical few days. It’s also wonderful to see the actors adjust to their new home. The Noel Coward Theatre is beautiful and we will be performing to about 900 people every night. It will be a big change from a handful of people in the rehearsal room.

actor with lamp on stand
The Lieutenant of Inishmore technical rehearsals. Photo: Marc Brenner

After three days of purely technical rehearsals, we perform a dress rehearsal to an invited audience of about 140 students to get a taste of what the next few nights will be like. It’s a real eye-opener for the company and we spend the following days discussing what we’ve learnt while preparing for our first preview in front of a full paying audience.

Our first preview is terrific, so much so that we even get a standing ovation! The cast are happy and Michael and the Creative Team are very pleased. It’s great to know that we have a really thrilling and funny show.