Day two in the Big Harrogate Theatre House

By Tim Stedman

Spent the morning listening to the songs for the show.  Spent the rest of the morning encouraging my voice to vaguely resemble said recording. Failed.

In the afternoon we began some blocking of the play – standing it on its feet if you like.  It’s at this point script and cast frailties become more apparent.  Surely its too late to recast now – so I’m safe.

Tom and Liz emerge contented from their ‘opening scene’ rehearsal as Nat, who plays the panda, and I enter the studio.  I fumble and splutter through 4 pages of soliloquy awaiting the arrival of creative support from the Panda’s big entrance.  Soliloquies are hard.  A director of mine from long ago used to say be funny, fast or get off.  I failed to be funny and with 4 pages it’s difficult to be fast or get off.

But then that’s what rehearsals are about – failure.  Finding out what doesn’t work, which jokes work on the page but might not on a stage, how long a punchline should be, where it fits etc.  And that fortunately it’s too late to recast!


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