As I often seem to say, things move so quickly with Belt Up that everything always seems a long time ago.
It feels like ages since we sat down to make a new show, but tomorrow morning at 9am we start rehearsal for The Beggars Opera, our brand spanking new show on in the Main House at York Theatre Royal from 24th-26th March.
I love this feeling. The feeling of waiting to launch in to a rehearsal process for something that no-one has ever seen before. It’s exciting and intimidating. I have a long list of things that I may or may not need to do before tomorrow morning. However, I am writing this instead. Perhaps I’m distracting myself or perhaps my thoughts are too erratic to get down in a measured and logical way. I need to make another list.
But this is no ordinary beginning.
To an extent I am used to walking in to a rehearsal room for an intimate site-specific show. But tomorrow morning I walk in to the rehearsal room to start directing a musical for an 840 seater venue.
We had a production meeting earlier today with all the team to tighten up a few things. Joe and I have sat down and talked and laughed our way through a plot for projections. Dan and I have crudely recorded the songs to play in the read-through. Jethro and I made and changed rehearsal schedules. James has written and rewritten the script until I had to stop him so I could print one off. Dominic and Chris have started pulling things together for the set design. Joe is working on his presentation for tomorrow, which apparently involves a quiz. Marcus arrives in about ten minutes to stay with us for a while.
And I’m sat in this armchair in my little room, half excited and half scared. Or rather 100% excited and 100% scared. I’m listening to Billy Elliot to try and get myself in the anti-Thatcher musical mode. I don’t know whether this is helping or just intimidating me.
However, in 12 ½ hours we kick off, and I can’t wait.
I guess I’ll make a list and make some notes and have some panics and try and get all my notes in to one place. But ultimately I will walk in to a rehearsal room tomorrow morning ready to make a new show with people I know, trust and thoroughly enjoy working with.
And, you never know, Belt Up Theatre’s first ever musical might just turn out to be bloody good!
Director of The Beggars Opera
Co-Artistic Director of Belt Up Theatre
The Beggars Opera runs at York Theatre Royal from 24th-26th March