| Rehearsal Diary

Week Three

Week three is already upon us – I can hardly believe it. After spending time making our way through the script technically, as well as working out the blocking, this is the week we begin to uncover more detail in the scenes, with a particular focus on character and objectives.

younger man concentrating
The Lieutenant of Inishmore rehearsals. Photo: Marc Brenner

Michael and the actors begin to find layers that we hadn’t seen before and we push all the decisions that we’ve previously made even further as we’re still in a place where we can make suggestions in the room. We spend the week unpicking the text, and because the actors are off book and even more confident with their lines we’re able to zoom in on individual words and sections of scenes to get an extra level of detail. This is particularly useful when thinking about the wit, intelligence and speed that links the thoughts of these characters. Michael watches what’s been put together and then asks the cast key questions about the characters and text to cement the work.

He also requests that the actors commit to and play everything as big as possible, in order for us to fully explore the scenes, because we can always pull it back if necessary. This method of working means we uncover subtleties we may never have found otherwise. We end up getting through the whole play in two days and make many new discoveries.

theatre rehearsals in a rehearsal room
The Lieutenant of Inishmore rehearsals. Photo: Marc Brenner

We spend the remaining two days of the week passing through the play again. It’s so interesting to see how much it has developed over a night or two – it’s as if the notes become embodied once they are able to filter for a few days. It’s a great process to witness, almost a subconscious reaction, in which the hard work truly pays off. We leave for the weekend feeling happy and confident about the place we’re in.