Christmas show rehearsal insights from assistant director

27 November 2012 ← return to listing

Christmas show rehearsal insights from assistant director

Image: The cast record a scene for our monthly TravCast.  

As the third week of rehearsals for our Christmas show The Arthur Conan Doyle Appreciation Society comes to an end, hear what assistant director Jo Rush has to say about the development of this whirlwind of physical comedy from Peepolykus

Now that the work on the script is finished; scenes streamlined, problems ironed out, even character names altered(!) we have been able to start really playing with the stories that are being told and finding the fun to be had in each scene.

A lot of our rehearsal time has been spent exploring the comic possibilities of - amongst other things - swivel chairs, extension cables, phone ringtones, and various forms of facial hair. This hasn't been just for our own amusement but has really helped us to identify the physical language of the play, to find which ways of using costume and props make the most sense in the world of these characters. A really important question we have had to keep asking is when should we play for laughs and when not? In hoping to create humour we don't want to rob the play of its heart by never allowing it a moment to be serious or moving.

All of this playing around in rehearsals, especially working with very talented improvisers, means that something brilliant can happen that you've never seen before and sometimes it can descend into what looks a lot like chaos! But time flies, and all of a sudden set and costumes are all arriving, tech week is looming, and everyday it looks more and more like a real show, even if opening night still seems far away.

Jo Rush, assistant director

Hear more about the making of the show from Peepolykus in our writer's podcast, where every month we talk to some of the UKs leading writers about the art of playwriting. You can subscribe for free via iTunes, and catch all the episodes on Soundcloud.  

The Arthur Conan Doyle Appreciation Society is at the Traverse 6 - 22 December (previews 4 & 5)


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