Sins of the Father: rehearsal one

Post length: 468 words, just over 2 minutes.

I have a friend, Ben, who runs his own theatre company.  They are a bunch of people he’s got together through work, university, theatre school and the like, and they put on plays.  Their work is, to be honest, generally ‘challenging’.  I read but didn’t see their last work.  I’ve just come back from the first dress rehearsal of their current work.This is because I’m involved with this one.  I got an email from him about 5 weeks ago asking if I was available to travel up and do his lighting for him.  In my time I’ve lit various things – I used to light things for school, I’ve opped for theatre school, and I was involved with rigging, programming and opping for the university theatre group in Lancaster.  So I said yes, and today travelled up to West Yorkshire to spend a few days planning, plotting and opping the show.

I joined the company today in their rehearsal space and watched a run through of the piece, taking notes as to what I’d like to do.

I have some ideas but there’s one problem – I haven’t been to the theatre it’s playing (the Hebden Bridge Little Theatre) in since I was about 11, Ben’s not been able to get any kind of technical contact there, and we have an hour and a half in the space tonight to get ourselves sorted – rigging, focussing, plotting, etc.  All I know of the technical specification is that last time Ben went he thinks he saw a computer screen in the box.  If this wasn’t bad enough when I spoke to Ben quickly today about it he said he wasn’t even sure if we were going to be able to move anything and that we might just have to ‘make do with what was there’.

That’s not really good enough for me.  I need to do the best I can.  I need to make sure it’s right and I’m willing to put the hours in – I’ve said that if the problem with access to the venue is because people don’t want to hang around with keys then I’ll take responsibility and get the keys back to them once we’re done or the next day when the show goes up.  I’m willing to stay all night if we can make it right.  Unfortunately I suspect it’s more complicated than that.

So, later today, armed with notes, I’m going to meet Ben and we’re going to talk through what we both want out of it.  Then we’re going to go to the theatre and see how much of those plans we can actually do.  And I’ll let you know.

Leave a comment