Telling stories with imagination.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Metta likes...Sunshine

And who doesn't, after a long dark winter. But this spring we've made some interesting discoveries re-rehearsing our production of Pirandello's The Man With the Flower in His Mouth. Last year we mounted the show in November/December in the cosy environs of The London Particular cafe in New Cross. This year we open in Dean & Hudson, a cafe up in Highgate, at the very end of April (tomorrow night in fact) and tour across the UK throughout May (mostly in a number of Boston Tea Party cafes). Who knows what the effect of playing in so many different spaces will have on the production - an invigorating and energising one I imagine - but already after only a few days on re-rehearsals we have noticed some profound changes because of the different weather conditions...

The Man With the Flower in His Mouth
Of course when creating work for window-less black box theatres it's nice to have light and airy rehearsal rooms, but perhaps less relevant to what you end up seeing on stage. But for our production - set within a cafe - the weather forms a back drop to the action in a profoundly affecting way. Last year we were plagued by a week of snow in the middle of the run - this played havoc with the trains but on the plus side it created a new dynamic within the cafe space - becoming a refuge for the characters from the adverse weather conditions. This time round the sun is shining and even the nights are (mostly) still balmy and light. So what does this do to the play?

Suddenly the interaction between the two characters takes on a totally different colour - when the sun shines we smile more, we're more relaxed. And even the act of shedding a few extra layers of clothing is an act of intimacy that immediately places the characters in a different dynamic to the one we discovered last winter. The discoveries we have been making in the rehearsal room this week have been massively exciting - and have given the actors a host of new challenges to overcome - and in many ways majorly re-structured the production in terms of pace and tempo. I can't wait to put it in front of an audience (and particularly an audience who may have seen it last year as well) to test these theories out in practice. Bring on the tour!

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