A Midsummer Night's Dream | Rehearsal Diary
A Midsummer Night's Dream– Week Six / Tech Week
While the crew were busy preparing all the technical elements of the show at the theatre on Monday, we had one last runthrough in the rehearsal space. It was exciting and it’s clear we’re ready to start wedding our work there with the stage and the design.
Tuesday saw the first of our ‘tech’ sessions and we started working through the play at a good speed, adding lights and sound. This period often offers new challenges. Some blocking needs to be changed because it’s harder to achieve, or doesn’t read, and the cast realise how much more they need to project to really be heard. Michael’s meticulous attention to detail in the rehearsal room, ensuring no actor is ever really speaking upstage, but always turned towards the audience, paid off.
Towards the end of the week we had two dress rehearsals, which were technically very encouraging, but the cohesion of the performance has not quite been found yet. Perhaps we need an audience for that?
Our first preview took place on the Saturday at the end of tech week. The night before, we’d invited a small audience to help us bridge the gap between having no one in the auditorium to having at least one hundred people in the stalls. It was thrilling for the cast to hear laughs, to gauge energies and for us to see the actors start to take ownership of the space.
Saturday’s performance was a little shaky, though. Our cast were nervous and although our audience couldn’t tell, we could feel the rhythm of the beast was a little off. We spent the next few performances fine-tuning that and getting the show to launch.
Throughout this preview week, we’ve had rehearsals and notes in the afternoon prior to the performance. It’s been an opportunity to work off the back of what we receive in front of an audience. It’s a hugely important period and one that many theatres aren’t able to afford – a full week of previews before opening. We’re lucky and as we gear up to opening night, we’re finally ready.