Today we had our first tech run and before we started, my group for ‘Alice’ realised that we hadn’t considered how our signs would be able to stand up. We presumed that they would be able to lean against the steel deck, which makes a level on the stage. We knew we were going to be performing the piece in front of it, but didn’t realise that the deck was as short as it is. Therefore we decided that we would have to look in tweed to find a solution to our problem, as we soon realised that the signs would not be supported enough. We thought about sticking the signs in a pair of boots and weighing them down, as ‘Alice’ is meant to be quirky. However we couldn’t find any suitable materials to pull this off at this stage of the process and with the tech run being today. Luckily we were able to find two silver and wooden stands, that we could attach the signs to with some tape. The worked and the signs were secured safely and effectively, which allowed them to stand by themselves.
Another last minute technical element that we had to address was the tea-pot. Liam was going to bring it in early last week, so that we would have time to rehearse with it before the tech run, dress run and the performances. However he forgot to do so and then once we had the prop, he was then ill so we still couldn’t test out if the prop worked and how we would incorporate it into our piece. Therefore we talked as a group and decided that at this stage it would be better to not use it, as we didn’t know where we would be able to place it and when to use it, as we hadn’t had any rehearsal time with it. We also knew that it was an extra to our piece and that we could do it just as well without it. In fact it just emphasises even more that our piece has a link to the Surrealism art movement, as it is like the objects are only in the characters minds, and that they are mad.
We then went on to having the tech run, which was the first time we had performed these pieces in the space we will be performing in later this week. We also got a chance to do the pieces with the lighting and sound, which was helpful in preparing us for the shows and informing us of how the pieces will flow and connect to one another. We knew that the concept of our show, was that it is like the audience are in a gallery and they get a voice over which introduces each art movement, but it was good for us to physically see how this is going to work. We wanted the show to feel like one whole collaborated project, rather that a cabaret which is split up. Therefore to do this we have different scenes on at the same time, in different parts of the stage on different levels, that get lit up one after the other, just like the audience are moving round the exhibitions. Due to this, the tech run was especially important, as for some pieces, we needed to be on the stage and in position two acts before our piece, so that we came on in the right art movement and with the right group of people.
The first piece we ran that I was in was ‘No Exit’, it will be the third piece in the show and means that we have to start the show on the stage, due to it being the Renaissance art movement, which is the first one we are doing. Jamie wasn’t here today, which was difficult as she is important to the piece, but it was something that we had to cope with. Liam and I still did everything we intended to do in the piece blocking and speaking wise, whilst Erica read in her lines. We will have to tech the piece again tomorrow when Jamie is here, so that all of us know what to do. It also gave us a chance to see if the voice recording of Chris as the Valet would work and I am pleased to say that it was successful and worked well at setting a daunting atmosphere.
We then did ‘Alice’ which will be the fourth act in the second half of the show, as it is in the Surrealist art movement. We got a great response from the group of people watching, and I am happy with the energy that we brought to the piece. However a big issue that hasn’t been too much of a problem until today, was that we skipped a large section of the piece. This meant that the audience didn’t get context for later parts of the script which we were able to pick the lines back up on. Even though ‘Alice’ isn’t meant to make sence, this isn’t something we should take as being an excuse to skip lines if we can avoid it. The skipping of the section occurred as Will said a line in the wrong place and knowing it was wrong Liam then picked up a new line that would get us to a place we all know well, however this meant we had missed a page and it is something that needs to be seriously addressed before the dress run tomorrow. To do this, we plan on doing several Italian (or speed) line runs, to make sure we are confident of our lines, as a lot of our lines are repeted and are confusing, due to the nature of the text and the characters being mad. However, it gives me confidence that if something does go wrong, our group is strong enough to cover it and carry on performing no matter what. I am also pleased that our piece worked well in the theatre space and that I was able to consistantly do the northen accent which I have been working hard to achieve over the last few weeks.