Saturday, 13 August 2016

Day one in the school house

Waking up felt kinda rough this morning. I felt like someone had spent the night chucking bricks at my head, like the little old lady who lived on the A6 in Higham Ferrers, who was regularly carted off for lobbing things at the cars outside. I think I was having some kind of sugar hangover. I ate a lot of sweet stuff yesterday. It's the first time I've ever started to associate eating badly with feeling unwell.

I got very irritated at Charing Cross by a man wearing a South Eastern Trains uniform. "Is this the Sevenoaks train?" I asked. "It's the Tunbridge Wells train." "Oh! Does it not stop at Sevenoaks?" "Yes it does..." "So it IS the Sevenoaks train." "No, it's the train to Tunbridge Wells." His eyes glinted cheekily. He was making a little joke. Twat. I realised at that point, as I began to get incensed with the world, that I hadn't slept properly!

The first day of rehearsals at Sevenoaks went well. The weather was almost comically lovely. For much of the day Hannah, the director and Sam, the choreographer, sat on benches outside planning the show, and, during the breaks, we all rushed to catch a few rays of sun. This is summer like summer always used to be! A giant half-moon started rising at 4.45pm, pretty much when the sun was at its hottest, which seemed quite bizarre. For the longest time I thought it was a wedged-shaped cloud.

We spent the day working through vocals in the show, and pretty much covered all the ensemble material. The cast have retained it well enough, but it still feels like there's a huge mountain to climb!

For the next couple of days, we're sharing the school with the cast of Spring Awakening, which follows Battle of the Boat as the next show out of the proverbial NYMT blocks. It performs this coming week at Leicester Curve under the direction of Nikolai Foster and ought to be quite stupendous.

The "Spring" cast are a very different bunch to the Brass lot, with a different energy, which is, no doubt, born out of the differences in the two shows. The Brass lot always come across as a bit studious and intense, which I love of course, and the Spring cast seem a bit livelier and fun-loving although they're working round the clock. Wherever I looked yesterday, a group of kids was practising choreography, or sat in a corner with Dougal the MD running through sequences of music. I very much enjoyed sitting outside at one point, listening to an acoustic guitarist strumming chords in the distance.

I don't altogether know if the Brass lot will know what's hit them this week. We have a show to stage in nine days and will have to work every hour of our 9am to 9pm allotted time.

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