Another full day in rehearsal. We've hit a regular pattern of spending the mornings revisiting a section of the work, looking beyond the initial blocking to try and create more nuanced relationships between the characters in the play. It's hard to apply what is essentially a Stanislavksian approach to the broad Commedia of much of the action - but behind the slapstick photography routine and the militaristic flamingos is a subtle play about growing up, falling in love, moving on and reaching a settlement with yourself.
At times the piece is heartbreaking and I've occasionally wondered whether we can get away with playing the dynamic between Alice and Lewis and then Alice and Leopold in semi-naturalism. It's a big risk to move away from the clowning, but I think the students are strong enough to manage the change and it might just give us an unexpected texture. Unfailingly when we run these sections somebody turns to me and says - 'it's very sad.'
Another run this afternoon and it was pleasing to see that most of the notes from yesterday had stuck. The company are beginning to pace themselves better and understand how much concentration and investment each section needs. Even when not the centre of the action it's really important that the ensemble support and refocus the audience back to the story. It means, as there is no off-stage, that nobody can switch off for a second.
Good to see as we get nearer to the show that more nuts, fruit and water are creeping into the room replacing the crisps, sweets and coke that seemed to be a staple of the earlier rehearsals. The sugar buzz followed by an early afternoon slump doesn't really have a place in the schedule any more.