Monday, 28 February 2011

The Night Before The Morning After

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!

Fingers crossed.


Director of The Beggars Opera

Co-Artistic Director of Belt Up Theatre

The Beggars Opera runs at York Theatre Royal from 24th-26th March

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