Kate has knocked up a brilliant horse, out of an old bicycle, for the White Knight scene which we're going to perform in the Wilderness at Ham. Adam, as Lewis Carroll will ride it in an epic battle with Rhian's Red Queen, Mrs Liddell.
It's a tricky scene because he has to keep falling off. We spent most of the morning trying to perfect the technique. The trick is to stay on for as long as possible as the bike falls to the ground and then at the last minute fling yourself off. Poor Adam kept working for as long as possible, but eventually, with his side battered and bruised, begged for mercy.
Despite near arctic conditions we took the show outside for this afternoon's run. I felt bad, but we've got to get used to it. Hopefully if we can conquer the cold with a smile on our face, we can cope with anything.
The cast are layering new discoveries into each performance. They've gone from marking it, to stagger, to secure very quickly and there were some signs today of sophisticated playfulness creeping back in. We try and teach students that great acting involves a great deal of technical application. It's only when you're right on top of your text and action that you can begin to embellish or play in the present moment. Knowing your work inside out gives you the possibility to really enjoy playing beyond pure technique. Each actor will get there in their own time and rehearsals are really just a chance to repeat sequences of action until a freedom emerges. Not everybody is there yet, but some are very close.
There was palpable relief when the run was over and we could scurry back inside to have notes in the warmth.