Lilly and I took the show to Camden People's Theatre in London for three nights and loved it. Thank you to Rachel, our technician who gave us technical support. We are in the process of tweaking the show here and there and having three nights on the trot gave us a chance to play and examine the content. We have written a few new songs but are yet to add them in. One of the songs is about the sleepwalker, Kenneth Parks who beat his mother in law to death with a crowbar, whilst sleeping, then acquitted of all charges as he was unconscious at the time, so could not have been responsible.
I have tried to find the right tone in this song as it has layers of comedy and tragedy. As soon as I play the tragedy, it becomes too sentimental and obvious so I want to highlight the ridiculousness of the situation by adding some comedy. I hope I have it right.
Lilly and I did our 2nd preview of the show at Attenborough Arts Centre on 18th March and it went well. We had a good turnout of people and they laughed. Audience comments said they wanted more and could have happily sat through anther 20 minutes worth, so Lilly are going to back to the rehearsal room and generate a touch more material. One of the good things about Gig-Theatre is that songs can be dropped in or substituted and not upset the balance and narrative of the whole piece. We do feel a piece of movement/music can go in the middle somewhere 3/4 of the way in. After hearing back a recording of the show in Leicester, I know where we can tweak bits. The show is going from strength to strength and we are looking forward to our 3 night run at Camden People's Theatre, 20th-22nd April.
We got there. We got to the first preview at Omnibus Clapham on Friday 10th March. It took some hard talking and fast shifting but we did it and I think the show is a good one.
I really do. It feels good to do. We have some tweaking to do and maybe a bit more material to make but we have 45 minutes of good stuff. No filler. Lillian and I have to maybe make a dance to go into the middle. Still up for grabs. The show is mostly music gig with a story arc so we can add a touch more of an ingredient/song and it won't affect the story. The show is like a Danish modular sofa.
We have performed it twice now, once at Omnibus and once at Attenborough Arts Centre on 18th March and the reaction has been great. People have said they want more. So, let's give them a little bit more but then come away at the right moment.
Lillian and I are figuring out now if we want to take it to Edinburgh.
Highlights of the process include:
We are at Camden People's Theatre from 20th-22nd April next. More chances to tweak and present the dance?
See you soon,
Well, since my last blog post, 5 days before we started, I mentioned that things might start to get a little crazy with the project. They did but mainly due to outside circumstances such as moving house. I now sleep in a brilliant bed which means I hardly sleep talk or sleep walk. Turns out this show might have a happy ending.
The first week of rehearsals was right at the beginning of January at Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester. Such a brilliant arts centre with a great atmosphere of possibility and inclusiveness.
David Parkin, our Dramaturg, story advisor, gave us a good grilling all week on what the shape of the show is. Getting things on their feet. We worked out a structure and then went away at the end of the week feeling like we had subjects to write songs about.
Things of note that happened that week are:
Then, the week after in mid January, Lilly and I went to the Respiratory Support and Sleep Centre at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge and that was completely brilliant. With the help of Dr Ian Smith, Consultant Physician and Deputy Medical Director, we interviewed some patients who have sleep problems such as sleep walking, sleep talking and night terrors. Everyone we met was a privilege to talk with because you could see in their eyes what they were going through. The recordings of our interviews might even make it in the show. I feel like Lilly and I have made a good friend in Doctor Ian Smith. After only one day we travelled home richer for the experience.
The next week of rehearsal was early February and it was just Lilly and I this time, working at the glorious Winter Gardens, Margate. We had to get down to song writing and also, we brought into the room a Queen size inflatable bed. This was so we could play around with it and figure out if we wanted to use it in the show. After 5 minutes, we decided we did. Great.
Lilly and I set ourselves 1 hour long deadlines to create something, however small, and then present it to each other.
This mostly proved effective.
Sometimes, blind alleys have to be gone down to know there is nothing down there. - Jeremy Beadle
The week at Winter Gardens was really useful and Lilly had beautiful rooms to rehearse in. We know each other a lot better now also as makers.
Next week, we continue...
I hope you enjoy the photos
I have 5 days to go before I start making the show and I just wanted to start this blog so I can get into the habit of it before it becomes a bit more crazy. I am researching by watching documentaries about sleep. I have bought myself an Infra Red camera which records me in my sleep. Mostly, I have just caught shots of me getting into bed and near misses of my bits. Anyway. Speak soon