As part of our ongoing commitment to nurture, support and inspire local theatre-makers, the Royal Exchange Theatre are able to offer directors based in Greater Manchester the opportunity to observe the journey of a production through rehearsals with our OBSERVER MONDAYS SCHEME.

Here is the third blog from SO HERE WE ARE observing director Jocelyn Cox.

Pidge: I don't mean a stand-up routine, do I?

Jade cake Danny best

This week I realised quite how much laughter there is in this rehearsal room, which was a lovely observation! The ball games continue, which seems particularly apt given that five of the six characters are a five a side football team in the play. As the cast become closer as people outside rehearsals, little added flavours begin to creep into scenes, and the elements of play have really helped develop those actor to actor relationships, and therefore enable colour to permeate the character to character relationships.

Jade

Last week Steven did some work around the alpha male, and group dynamics. This gave the cast a new shared vocabulary with which to analyse the narrative and their performances within short runs as they tried different things, and facilitated clearer discussions.

Sam box Danny

The cast are also now able to play on the set, which has heightened the sense of performance in runs. There are logistical things which can only now be worked out, given that some moves are dictated by safety considerations, so the cast have been very patient in working through these. It has also given a great sense of how the show will feel for an audience, which is particularly exciting.

This week movement director Tom Jackson Greaves was also in for another session. It was interesting to see his collaborative relationship with Steven, and the finished product has a real shared ownership as it stems from some improvisation by the cast directed by Steven, which has then been more neatly choreographed by Tom.

Next time I'm in the show will have entered tech week, ready for a preview performance in the Royal Exchange Studio, and then heading off to the Hightide Festival. I'm hoping to get a glimpse at some costumes, and look forward to seeing the cast doing full runs and getting notes.