Day 48: community cast week 3

March 9, 2010

March 8th: our third community cast workshop. 36 attendees. Pat led the warm up. Once again, her playful approach encouraged us all to loosen up both physically and emotionally – a wonderful ice-breaker to open the workshop.

Ollie gave a short vocal warm-up, using tongue-twisters to help us all learn to enunciate more clearly – crucial when it comes to performing in the Cathedral with its vast echoing space. He then got everyone to walk the space – singly, in pairs, in small groups, and finally in diamond-shapes of four people each, alternating leaders.

John and Katie conducted the group rehearsal of our opening song The Ballad of Mary Overie. In previous weeks we’d noticed little variations creeping into some of the renditions. This time we sang it line by line, stopping to iron out any glaring irregularities. By the time we sang the whole song through together, it sounded the best we’d heard it.

During the break, Ollie marked out the rehearsal room floor with white tape, marking the playing space inside the Cathedral with entrances and exits. Sarah walked everyone through the way their particular group will make their first entrance in the Cathedral. Then, dividing in 3 groups, we worked on: Tunnellers, Devils, Sisters of Redcross.

I encouraged the Tunnellers to let the rhythm and rhyme of the verse carry them, keeping them all in time. The Devils worked on a new scene: the papparazzi Devils stalking Mary Magdalene. The Sisters of Redcross also took on a new text, spoken after the crucifixion:

Here lay your hearts, your flowers,
Your Book of Hours,
Your fingers, your thumbs,
Your ‘Miss You Mum’s.

Sarah assigned everyone to one of the three groups, as well as casting some individual parts. Once again, we emphasised the primacy of the group dynamic embodied in the ensemble work.

This week’s feedback took the form of “What I’m excited about in this production…” Answers included:

“Making a noise in a huge space!”
“Being evil instead of always being good!”
“Recreating the medieval world!”
“Coming to the Cathedral!”

“Every single thing about it!”

One comment

  1. The whole play is now starting to feel more real now the groups and parts have been assigned and we are having to work a bit harder now.
    I am finding myself singing the Ballad of Mary Overie in my head and tapping the tunnellers beat while practicing in my head on the train.
    Also I have been practicing being an old drunk, again while I’m walking in the street, at work or getting on the train. Monday evenings are currently the highlight of my week.

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