Monthly Archives: November 2014

Henry V

We are deeply saddened to announce that due to a serious road incident involving our Director, we have taken the very difficult decision to postpone our forthcoming production of Henry V.

We want to thank everyone for their support and we look forward to sharing our all-female Henry V shortly.

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November 9th Photo of the Day

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Henry V Rehearsal photo taken by Adam Trigg
Waterloo East Theatre 11th to 29th November, 2014.

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November 8th Photo of the Day

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Henry V Rehearsal photo taken by Adam Trigg
Waterloo East Theatre 11th to 29th November, 2014.

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November 7th Photo of the Day

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Henry V Rehearsal photo taken by Adam Trigg
Waterloo East Theatre 11th to 29th November, 2014.

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Henry V Rehearsals Day 13

Happy Bonfire Night Everyone!
I have just got back from flyering for the show on the Southbank with the lovely Rosanna, and despite the freezing temperatures I actually really enjoyed it. It gave us a chance to meet people, observe their reactions and to note how they feel at the thought of such a production. It is a very interesting social experiment. Londoners can spot a flyerer a mile off, it’s like a little alarm goes off in their ears saying, ‘danger, danger!! Avert avert!’ And they then proceed to walk in a circular motion as far away from you as possible. I felt like a leper. But we are all guilty of it, assuming it’s for a club or a takeaway. By assuming, however, you may miss something really exciting. I will make a mental note for that in the future.
Although, so many more people were intrigued and took a flyer than didn’t. One couple walked briskly away as I spoke to them and a little way past me the woman stopped and came back. ‘I’m sorry, did you just say an all-female cast of Henry V?’ I nodded and then showed her the flyer. ‘It’s only just sunk in what you actually said, I’d love to have one thank you’ Then, as luck would have it I offered a flyer without realising to an old university friend who also did Drama and now works at the National theatre and we hD a wonderful conversation about it. Then there was also someone who knew the Director Ricky Dukes and a girl who said she had a friend in the production. It really makes you realise how small the theatre world is, and how important it is to get out there and meet people and talk about it in person as that may be the extra effort that someone needs in order to actually purchase a ticket.
Today, admittedly, rehearsals were hard for all involved. But I always see it as a colouring book, when you first begin you can colour at will in large sweeping like motions and there is something really satisfying about filling in an empty page with a block of colour. However, when you get closer to finishing the picture, more care has to be taken and decisions of detail have to be made to make sure you don’t colour over the lines. This takes longer and is more painstaking the closer you get to the end because you want to get it right and the final product begins to really matter to the artist.
We seemed to have struggled a little with the muscularity of the text, getting lost in stage directions and logistics. However for both to work and especially for the director to know what could work, both of these elements need as much time and effort taken over them as eachother. Having said this, it is easy to forget just how far we have come as we get used to what we see. Things that got me really excited today was seeing Tewkesbury’s transformation and development of character suddenly blast into action. As well as this, the movement of the troops from Southampton to France will be beautiful and intriguing to watch  and the use of light and darkness in Henry’s haunting scenes, which are completely original to Lazarus’s production, create an extremely disturbing and eerie effect. Lastly, and very befitting of the poem below and why we celebrate bonfire night – the treacherous traitors have been found out and justice will see them fall!
So…
Remember, remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot.
I see no reason, why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, guy, t’was his intent
To blow up king and parliament.
Three score barrels were laid below
To prove old England’s overthrow.
By God’s mercy he was catch’d
With a darkened lantern and burning match.
So, holler boys, holler boys, Let the bells ring.
Holler boys, holler boys, God save the king
L.G (6 Days till P-Day…)

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November 6th Photo of the Day

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Henry V Rehearsal photo taken by Adam Trigg
Waterloo East Theatre 11th to 29th November, 2014.

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Henry V Rehearsals Day 12

Its day 12 troops and we are staging our scenes. The Dora the explorer pink ball came back in all her glory to challenge our comrades. We were better than last week, having 50 as our minimum, but we weren’t able to get past 57. The challenge continues. Some of the actors (or actresses? Will get back to this in a jiffy) were in full costume today, oh how thrilling! Its very exciting now that we can see the play coming together and a polished product starting to emerge. Now what do you suppose our costume is? Lavish robes and jewels or  contemporary LK Bennet/Kate Middleton style dresses and hi tech army gear? Its neither. We have gone for a really unusual and controversial – hang on, this is only the blog, I can’t give everything away!
People keep asking me how, what and why an all female cast? Well there isn’t a strap line to answer these questions but what I can say is that it has been fascinating approaching the play from the female point of view. It has highlighted many factors and issues within the play that may not have been explored as much in traditional productions which has changed how we present the play to you. War is always portrayed as male dominated so how would women deal with the same situations? There have been a lot of questions asked during the process, specially as the cast is 100% female, and hopefully we can share our curiosities with you. In short, you really have to come yourselves with an open mind and see what you understand and receive from the play.
We do have a few treats for you at the beginning of the play (well, throughout the whole play too but there is an extra special one in the beginning) and an element of ‘Where’s the King’ going on. We were talking about the sound scape today and there are a lot of “BANGS” and “Zshooms” appearing which made for a interesting rehearsal report. Just to get your brains slightly buzzed I’m going to tell you we have a few fancy lights and torches, fancy squares that light up, fancy food (perhaps tuna sandwiches) and somewhat  unfancy costumes.
Before I finish my log for today I want to ask you on your opinion regarding the actor/actress debate? I have been using a mix (partly because I’m lazy and there are too many S’s in actresses to spell quickly) but which term do you think a female performer should use? Some people find the word ‘actress’ degrading or question why there should be a difference between a male and female theatrical performer. Surely we are all just performers so why the need to differentiate? I personally do differentiate and love the term actress. I feel there is a certain strength to it and think of the greats when I use it. Leave your comments below as I would love to hear some opinions about this.
Au revoir mes soldates anglais
CR

Today began with a rather more relaxed warm up, focusing on our breathing and trying to shut out all of those bodily niggles, aches and distractions of thought. The perfect way to relieve the stress and tension of a cold and wet journey to rehearsals filled with delayed trains and crumpling into cramped carriages like a pack of sardines.

Firstly we discussed the ideas and questions that Ricky and the group had come up with regarding the staging of the play over the past couple of weeks. We discussed what type of shapes the play lent itself to, the texture of the walls and floor in particular scenes, what temperature the space was and whether it was an ‘outdoors’ or ‘indoors’ play.

Many of the decisions about the play have arrived naturally through rehearsals and some have been completely different to what was first expected. Before we put the play up on it’s feet, the play felt very muddy and messy, there were ideas of red paper filling up the stage and earth and confusion. However, in rehearsals there evolved this clinical like feeling, it was clean and straight forward, harsh and exposing. The set became very simple but effective and used in all manner of ways to reflect the decisions, indecisions, chaos and calm, while pointing subtly to the focus of the scene.

The play originally felt quite ‘outdoorsy’ but rather quickly, the space became boardrooms and control centres, battle stations and air hangars and before we knew it most of the play was set inside.

Now comes the dilemma of wanting to share the final week’s rehearsal process with you, but also wanting to keep certain elements of our production a delicious surprise when you come and see the play! All I will say is be prepared to pull your sleeves up and do your bit for King and Country, a blast from Henry’s past comes back to haunt her, and  two hungry Bishops discuss a very important Bill, urged by the House of Commons, that must not be passed at any cost. But what will that cost be? Could their decisions plunge England into war or will it take much more than the Church to rouse the doubtful and considered Henry to War?

You shall have to wait and see!

L.G (7 days till P-Day…)

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