BEAUTIFULLY, EXHILERATINGLY INSANE

Every rehearsal is a revelation. Last night confirmed that 'Brecht' will be every bit as special as 'Electra'. It's a fascinating process that perhaps ought not to work but with the right group of people works superbly and is tremendously efficient and creative. We begin by running work to date. The band is in situ even though their first rehearsals have been basically giving each song a structure and rudimentary arrangement. They sound awesome, a little rough perhaps but to my ears magic. The singing is extraordinary. This will continue throughout the night and Myra stuns everyone with Lighthouse. It's a beautiful song from Mark. Myra utterly nails it. There's a unique quality to both voice and presence. There's a beautiful rhythm and shape to the piece which is decidedly choreographic throughout, everyone omnipresent. Bodies move throughout the space a shifting, morphing set framing the dialogue and action. Mark is at the forefront of all of this doing what Mark does, leading by example. The character is emerging, it's compelling, Peter's Weill, a perfect foil. Dialogue attitude, status, motivation suggest shape and movement, an organic process, the bedrock of our unique brand of collaboration. The ensemble is tight, very tight. Later we discuss options, the inclusion of outsiders but there's a unanimous agreement that the balance and harmony are right, don't risk rocking the boat. We arrive at another Mark gem and like some of his other songs, I'm uncertain at first. The band is hesitant and Mark's vocal tentative. We go again, it's better, more assured and then Matt steps forward and delivers a sax solo that has me sitting up. There's a potential for 'tradeoff' between voice and instrument, I'm barking instructions to everyone over the cacophony. No one hears me and all look bewildered. We stop, I explain. Lydia reads lyrics, designates harmonies. This is what I mean......who would teach a song that no one has heard before in situ and choreograph at the same time? It's beautifully, exhilaratingly insane. We go again: this time it's awesome from the beginning. This will be a knockout in very much the same way that Nothing Changes became in Electra. All my early reservations are laid to rest. We're at the sax solo and now Matthew is blowing a storm. The chorus joins in the song swells to a crescendo and then silence.

We discuss Edinburgh and come to a collective decision to take THREE shows to the Fringe Festival in August. We're going to do SNOW WHITE. Rationale: Because we had such fun and success with it oversees in Germany and England and we want to test the Edinburgh waters with a children's show.

Incidentally, or not, work has begun on RED RIDING HOOD. It's brand new with a catalogue of new songs. It's a sequel to SNOW WHITE revisiting many of the characters. It's a different take on the tale. Here the hero of the piece is a much reformed wolf. Already the ensemble is hot and it's shaping up be another beauty.


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