More Light in Rehearsal
By Nuala Maguire
In the beginning there was Origami. We met three weeks ago (it seems hard to believe as a lot seems to have happened in that time!) We kick started our rehearsals with a read through and story sharing exercise and before we knew it we were learning how to make Origami, is it a bird is it a crane? Initially it was neither... However if Origami is anything to go by we have been in a constant state of developing for this show... We can now make Origami birds fly!
Directed by Ellie Hurt we have navigated through this female heavy script by Bryony Lavery and investigated More Light with a playful approach that compliments the brutal yet delicate script. Initial explorations came through improvising narratives using physical theatre (where the primary means of communication is through the body rather than through the mind) leading us to discovering the skills of the cast and finding impulses.
Initiating each early rehearsal was a high energy cast/director led warm up for example; using physical theatre to find ways of moving together imagining the restrictions that the ladies face, as well as warming up with Chinese Ribbon Dancing enhancing our understanding of ancient Chinese traditions. These early explorations have helped the collective imagination of the piece. The style of storytelling encourages interpretation of the script to be expressive and visual.
The past few weeks have remained fast paced and energized we have worked in succession isolating scenes and finding the core discomforts of the concubine ladies, their Emperor and the relationship struggle between More Light and the convict. The characters each have a definable nature and purpose, however each of them have a similar need for survival.
The creation of our work has been physically intensive and led with a collaborative focus which has allowed a lot of room for exploration, humour and translation of all of the characters journey’s within the play. With a week to go we can celebrate the images and gestures we have created and we now have the job of mastering those compositions.
We ended last night’s rehearsal with a trial run of the makeup for the concubines, it inspired an end of rehearsal photoshoot... Naturally!
We hope to see you in ev1 this week!