Monday, August 2, 2010

It would seem a most daunting task, sir.

Yesterday we completed the first fortnight of our rehearsal process. The day was capped with what is termed as the "designer run," whereby all of the ladies and gentlemen who are recreating Mr. Wooster's flat and the lighting and musical effects therein gather to watch an entire "run-through" of our little story.

Knowing we would have to make this presentation, we spent the last several days rehearsing both acts, by running long segments and then repeating them, over and over, not unlike a polo or rugby team repeating plays out on the pitch. Also not unlike rugby, there was a great deal of grunting, falling over, gnashing of teeth, and rending of garments. Fortunately, all of the furniture remained intact over those days, so we were able to continue using it for yesterdays presentation. When the rehearsal process has come to a close, I will certainly need to send it for reupholstering and repair. More likely, I shall just have it replaced altogether. Mr. Wooster will never notice the difference, I suspect.

The designer run, remarkably, was quite well received. I do believe it was the first time our full complement were able to recite our roles without the help of playscripts, though certainly we all required a little help now and again. There is a most curious habit in the theatre whereby a participant who has misremembered a segment may call out "Line!" in the middle of the showcase and it will be repeated to him by stage management. I wonder: if Mr. Wooster were able to call for "line" in his life, would I be able to more efficiently deliver him from trouble? Too often I am forced to rescue him (mainly from himself, might I add) by some sort of secreted means.

The designers, one hopes, were able to start to see how the entire production might look. I will admit it has been rather strange to rehearse in a facsimile of the flat which only represents Mr. Wooster's sitting room and hallway. It is my understanding that while that facsimile will gain more verisimilitude upon moving into the theatre, we will still be without the basic structures of bedrooms, dining room, parlor, foyer, and kitchen. Further, we shall be able to see the innards of the walls from the "offstage" at all times -- it is pure fa├žade, as if we are living inside-out. What a strange world this is. Although, as I think about it, no stranger than the life Mr. Wooster leads. One cannot help but marvel at the sheer volume of backward situations in which he finds himself.

Next week we shall continue running the play in its entirety to ferret out scenes in need of fine-tuning. At week's end, we move into the theatre proper. One can only imagine what Messrs. Wooster and Bassington-Bassington will turn topsy-turvy down there.


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