Encourage the Others – rehearsal diary week 7

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As the compnay complete their last full week of rehearsals and get ready for the transition into the theatre, they realise that not only do they still have quite a lot of work to do, but how amazing their journey has been. After seeing each other weekly for nearly a year this weekend marks the culmination of all their hard work – don’t be surprised if a few tears are shed…

Dina Ibrahim in rehearsal. Photo Ludovic des Cognets

On Wednesday we started with several line runs, really focusing on vocals, as moving into the theatre next week will bring new challenges to people’s vocality.

We then did a number of exercises to get people thinking about their own personal vocal weaknesses. We started with a general warm up, before moving to different spaces around the building and working individually on articulation and volume. Everyone was able to focus on the things they struggle with, such as rushing lines, not having enough breath to get to the end of a line, and certain consonant sounds they find hard to hit.

We then went back to the text, and started thinking about the internal politics of the piece again, which are really clear in the first half of the play, but not so clear in the second half. We did an exercise where characters had to stand in groups according to who they thought they were allied with at different points in the play. Natalie then set homework for each person to track their character’s changing allegiances throughout each section of the play, and to identify the moments at which those relationships change.

On top of all of this, the costume superviser and designer were also in doing the final few costume fittings.

By Dina Ibrahim

Maia Clarke in rehearsals. Photo Ludovic des Cognets

So we’re nearing the end of LAB (the year long project that culminates with Encourage the Others) and it all feels really weird because we’ve been doing this for ages – it’ll be so strange to be without each others company and coming to 108 every week.

Even though it’s so near to the performance there’s still so much for us to do so Lu sat us down and we talked through the script. We went through each section and thought about back stories to certain lines in order for us to understand them easier and give them more meaning on stage. Then after discussing each two sections we’d run the sections on their feet to apply what we’d discussed.

I thought this was really effective and it really worked for me because I felt like we all had a better understanding of our characters and the journey’s they make throughout the play. It also really helped us as a company as we had better understandings of our relationships to others and how they change throughout the play, which was really useful for me as I discovered a new relationship which helped my behaviour on stage and the way I deliver certain lines.

By the time of the performances we’ll be perfect and I can’t wait to see the finished result even though it’ll be the end of LAB! I’ve had such a great time and I’ve met some really great people and learned so much, I’m so thankful for my time spent as part of this project.

By Maia Clarke

Book your ticket to this World Premiere written by John Donnelly here.

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