Our juvenile lead was unavailable for the first hour of the day as the future called and he had an audition. This gave Matt and Mark a chance to work the score with the rest of the actors. Mark is truly a gifted pianist and plays our music in a way that no-one beside Matt ever has. I’d spent the morning collecting the chairs and table from the very generous MTC – Jeff in props being as gentlemanly as ever, even helping us get them onto the top of the car. I’d foolishly worn pastels, so it’s pretty easy to imagine how I looked after lugging chairs out of storage. But they’re colourful and look great!
Once we got our prodigal son back, it was time for the first ever full run. There was plenty of great stuff, and it held together really well, but of course most of the detailed scene work goes awry in the sheer mental effort it takes to link scenes together and begin to feel the arc out. Our lighting designer Rob was thrilled with the run, and relieved that it would be easy to light.
After lunch we started working through the first 15 minutes of the show – Andy cleaned up Happy Families meticulously. It’s quite hypnotic. Ended the day with a couple of speed lines runs – you’ve got to have every line perfectly in your head if you’re ever going to be able to play. This is one of the major drawbacks of a short rehearsal period – ideally you should never learn your lines till after the scene is blocked. Which wouldn’t matter if you had 4-5 weeks. It does when you have two.
Checked the sales – we’ve already made 80% of the budget back on presales, and sold over a third of the available tickets, over a week before performances start. And that’s before any of the major publicity – The Age, Herald-Sun, MCV…and word of mouth, always the best seller. Independent theatre – it’s quite the juggling act. When I’m not focused on the room, I’m sorting out our publicity requests via Trudi, seeing how Jo is going sourcing curtains, roofs, costumes, graffiti artists, how Jess is going with poster and water features – it’s become a sprint to the finish line.
And then there’s Liza on an E, Priscilla Broadway, Next to Normal to organise…