We had our first proper rehearsal for Em today and it came in the shape of a music call. Em is a tricky old score and having a few days of vocal calls before proper rehearsals begin is a real godsend. It introduces the cast to the landscape of the music and gives them a sense of the task ahead in terms of how much work they'll need to put into learning harmonies. It's a little unorthodox to do all of this before we know who is playing what in the show, but we're only working our way through ensemble material and I'm pretty sure none of the actors will mind being taken out of singing a harmony line because they've got a major solo in the song instead!
They're definitely a talented and very friendly bunch and they're doing immensely well despite looking a little like rabbits in headlights for much of today. At one point the MD Chris caused mass hysteria by telling them to do the number one more time before allowing them to go outside "so that their brains could fart!"
The area we're rehearsing in is just around the corner from my osteopath in Borough, which makes it handy if everything gets highly stressful! I am a little disappointed we're not up at Swiss Cottage because I had all these wonderful plans to walk home across the Heath every night after rehearsals. Borough isn't exactly jam-packed with lunchtime food options either. Yesterday I couldn't even find a shop that would sell me a little notepad. It's quite a pleasing area on the eye, however, filled with railway arches and somewhat brooding Victorian warehouses. Very much my aesthetic.
Every inch or ounce of spare time now has to go into orchestrating the songs. It feels like an episode of Challenge Anneka!