Tuesday, 8 April 2014


So here I am in an Edwardian boarding house in a private school somewhere in Kent. I appear to be staying in a room which, during term time, is occupied by a young girl. Her favourite pictures and a series of brightly-coloured post-it notes carrying messages from friends are all over the walls. Being in a space which is so plainly someone else's world feels a touch intrusive.

Looking on the bright side, however, one of my colleagues is in a room with hundreds of pictures of One Direction on the walls. That would be a little bit more difficult to deal with! Imagine Harry Styles' face being the first thing you see in the morning. Worse still, imagine waking up from a nightmare to see the little stumpy Irish one's face; the one who thinks he's witty in a sort of sinister way,

That said, I feel like I'm on a rather brilliant adventure. I love residential courses because those on them have nothing to do other than work on the project in hand. The focus is a great deal more intense, as is the sense of camaraderie. I keep having flash backs to my teenaged years and the half-term music courses I'd almost permanently find myself attending. They were some of the happiest times of my life.

We've just finished the first day of rehearsals for Brass. It's been a long old slog and I'm the last one standing, writing late into the night to ensure that we have decent material to use in rehearsals tomorrow.

I'm hugely impressed by the set up here. The NYMT are brilliantly organised, and run a tight, tried-and-tested ship. I've even been provided with a little room with a keyboard in it where I can go in the middle of the night if the muse strikes me. How many other organisations would have thought in that level of detail?

We had a read-through of the piece today. It's plainly too long. Probably by as much as half an hour. We're going to make a number of internal cuts in scenes whilst we rehearse, but it also feels like something might need to shift structurally. Perhaps even the loss of an entire number... or two!

I remain deliriously happy with the cast, and even more content with our happy, talented creative team. Sara at the helm is calm, cool and maternal. Matt the choreographer is witty, creative and highly diligent, and Benjamin, our MD seems to be in his absolute element when working with the kids. Add to that, a fascinating assistant director who I suspect has the hutzpah to go far in this industry, a assistant musical director with a passion for brass bands, a fabulous DSM who is also a counter tenor, and a deeply intuitive set designer, and the stars begin to align for something rather special. Let the magic begin!

1 comment:

  1. I await with bated breath to experience this show and as usual Ben your words transport me there already xxx