Thursday, 11 May 2017

Day two, Em

Day two of Em rehearsals found us back in Southwark doing a full, and highly-exhausting day of music rehearsals. We nailed the first number in some pretty good detail and almost got to the end of another. We have a music call tomorrow morning which ought to mean we'll have the second number pretty much in the bag as well, and that feels like a very good place to be in before official rehearsals begin.

We had a different musical director today. Our Christopher was away on another gig so dep'd the rehearsal out to a friend, who turned out to be an affable and very talented young chap, who did an amazing job, effectively sight-reading the music whilst teaching the cast their material.

The cold continues. I've been overdosing on cups of tea all day but feel an almost crushing sense of tiredness. I sweated through the night and kept waking up in states of increasing confusion. I always feel a little better after eating, however. What is it that they say? Feed a cold, starve a fever?

I learned a very lovely fact earlier, namely that Em means mother in Hebrew. Em, therefore, really couldn't be more perfect a title for a story about a young mother. If I'd have known earlier, I could well have been tempted to make the central character officially Jewish. I've always felt as though she had some sort of Jewish connection...

It's funny how show titles work. I've always been a massive fan of one-word titles, particularly if the word chosen feels like it says something meaningful about the piece. One-word, easily-spelt titles are far more memorable and can become an important part of a show's brand. People remember the word "Brass," for example, far more than they ever do "Beyond The Fence", a title which was thrust upon us by the show's producers, who wouldn't allow us to use the catchier working title, "Green Gate." It turns out that prepositions are hopeless in show titles, a fact we learned after people variously started calling our show "Over The Fence", "Across the Fence" or "On The Wall!" No one ever called Brass "Tin" or "Copper!"

I'm actually hoping Em will get the record for the shortest title for a work of musical theatre. There are some numerical titles which might offer stiff competition, but I believe Yestin's, Nine is only ever written in letters. Jason Robert Brown's 13, however, is usually written numerically, so that would offer a two-figure title. (It takes longer to say however.) I can't think of a one-letter musical title. Can anyone reading this?

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