We're now a third of the way in to our rehearsal schedule. Most of the shows now 'exist' in somewhat crude forms, everythings starting to take shape. We had a moment where the terror kicked in but that's now passed and (touch wood) we're going to pull of a huge programme of shows for this fringe - and they won't just exist, but they will be better than anything audiences have seen from Belt Up before.
There's still a way to go before the fringe begins though but some shows have technically already started - well the 'pre-shows' at least. The Surrealists from 'Lorca is Dead' have been unleashed on the world, you can meet and chat to them if you want on Twitter - they will remember you!
Our rehearsal process is influenced greatly by Keith Johnstone (get 'Impro' from here, you won't regret it!) and we spend a lot of time building up each character using mask and trance. Those of you who caught 'Lorca is Dead' at York Theatre Royal in May earlier this year will have met and even had conversations with some of the characters. Using Mask and Trance we essentially breed our characters, teach them to talk, walk etc so that when audiences meet them, the actor playing them doesn't need to worry about improvising or anything, they act on impulse in character - if anyone's seen 'Being John Malkovich' that's kind of what it's like from the actor's point of view. This sounds very odd but read Keith Johnstone's book, especially the chapter on 'Mask and Trance' and it will all become clearer. We use a variation of this technique to create all our characters which makes it incredibly exciting when developing new characters. With so many brand new shows, this means developing a lot of new characters, we have no idea what they'll actually be like (we can get vague ideas but will never truly know till we meet them). Quite often as part of this character development process we'll take the characters out on trips into town, to shops and such like which makes for a lot of entertainment. If anyone's in York this month then you may bump into some new characters getting ready for the Edinburgh shows!