Rehearsals

WHAT DOES A COMPANY STAGE MANAGER DO? / SUT DDIWRNOD CAIFF REOLWR(AIG) LLWYFAN Y CWMNI?

The view from Chez Glesni

The view from Chez Glesni

Dyma i chi ddiwrnod ym mywyd GLESNI PRICE-JONES...
Here's a day in the life of our CSM, GLESNI PRICE-JONES...

07:00 - Dihuno / Wake up
        Throat feels sticky and sore :/ 

 

07:15 - Actually codi o'r gwely / Actually get out of bed
        Shower…sort my hair out. 

 

07:45 - Bwyta brecwast / Eat breakfast
        Avoid dairy for my throats sake, dig out ginger, lemon and honey tea. Make one for the road

 

08:00 - Gadael y ty / Leave the house
        The commute between Newport and Cardiff can be lovely when there is no traffic and you drive in the pretty countryside lanes 

 

08:40 - Arrive early and find a free parking space   
     SCORE! I hate paying for parking. Made it with enough time to buy water and add Berocca.

*NOTE FROM PRODUCER - OTHER ENERGY-BOOSTING, VITAMIN-FILLED (TURNS YOUR *** ILLUMINOUS) PRODUCTS ARE AVAILABLE...

08:50 - Cyrraedd Drws y Llwyfan / Arrive at Stage Door to meet the Actors
        Make a mental note not to breath germs on them. 

 

09:00 - Cyrraedd y gofod ymarfer / Arrive at rehearsal space
        Its bigger than expected! We are seriously lacking rehearsal spaces in Cardiff so this is a gem. 

 

09:00 - Cychwyn ymarferion trwy dwymo fyny / Begin rehearsals with a warm up
        …..no not me. I take some funny videos of the warm up and start on a list of to-do’s for the day. Delegate tasks, van hire quotes, lighting hire quotes, compare technical specifications.

 

09:30 - Dechrau ar y restr o dasgiau / Begin on my own list of tasks
      Update edits to the script, get in touch with tech manager at Underbelly, download attachments from touring venues, chase up kit for tech week and tour

 

11:00 - Egwyl / Break
        I’m pretty much the Equity police when in the rehearsal room. 15 mins should be taken every 4 hours. 

 

11:02 - Angen bwyd / Need food
        Mared (the Director) and I decide we are hungry, we need food. Power walk to the         cafe down the road. Order a smoked salmon and scrambled egg muffin. 

 

11:20 - Ry'n ni'n hwyr / We are late
        Ok….we are late back from the break…the CSM and the Director…..oops. It’s ok though, everyone understands that the smoked salmon and scrambled egg muffin is worth it. We are forgiven. 

 

11:22 - Nôl at y gwaith / Back to work
        Mared scoffs down the muffin and gets back to work. So do I. 

 

13:00 - Amser cinio / Lunch time
        Its already lunch time and my plans to drive to Swansea to have a look at the set being built are out of the window…its not a good time for the builders…push back until tomorrow. 

 

13:30 - Bwyta cinio / Eat Lunch
        Find the rest of the team eating lunch looking out over Cardiff Bay Barrage…this is nice. Feed some sparrows. Swap stories, lament the state of the world..Boris Johnson is Foreign Secretary? *rolls eyes* 

 

14:00 - Nôl at y gwaith / Back to work
        We have been working on some particularly complicated scenes where the two actors play 5 characters. Our Movement Director, Jess, is throwing some brilliant shapes into the mix and the actors are taking it in their stride. 

 

14:45 - Try to pay attention to the rehearsal! Not emails!
        There are so many things to keep track of that its easy to forget that soon I will be operating the show every night, running sound, lights and projection. I should pay more attention. I take some blocking notes. 

 

15:55 - Break time
        Its time for another break….relax 

 

16:06 - Dyw hi ddim yn amser y ddechrau nôl eto / Its not time to start back yet
        Mared wants to get going again, but the break police are back in town. There’s 4 minutes left of the break! Mared remarks that I am a cold woman. 

 

16:10 - NAWR mae'n amser dechrau nôl / NOW it's time to start back
        In the last 50 minutes of rehearsal I make a start on this blog… and chase emails… and make a do to list for tomorrow. 

        Pick up mini mac from stage door 

        Make and distribute schedule for next week 

        Visit the workshop where the set is being built 

        Watch a stagger through 

        Film stagger through 

        Try and take as many block and q notes are possible during stagger through. 

 

17:00 - Gorffen ymarferion /  Finish rehearsal
        We manage to finish on time! 

 

17:15 - Get in the car    
        Yeah the free parking space is quite a way away, but I see a friend and their dog on the way *happy face* so that makes it better. 

 

18:10 - Cyrraedd adre / Arrive home
        Traffic is horrendous, why world why? 

 

18:15 - Trefnu galwadau yfory / Write call sheet
        Each evening I let everyone know when/what they will be doing during rehearsal tomorrow.

 

18:20 - Cwpla'r adroddiad ymarferion / Finish rehearsal report    
        Throughout the day I have been creating a rehearsal report, whenever something comes up in the room I take a note to let the pertinent member of the creative team know about it. 

 

18:30 - Send call sheet and rehearsal report
        I try to make this the last task of the day. 

 

18:35 - Dechrau ar fy noswaith i / My evening begins
        Like other well rounded individuals my evening will consist of going to the gym, walking the dog, scrapbooking, volunteering for charities… Eating and watching Netflix. 

 

SOME HOURS LATER / YCHYDIG ORIAU’N DDIWEDDARACH

21:00 maybe - Emails from the creative team or director…..break my own rules by replying. 

 

So thats it for a light day in the rehearsal room. Come back to me during tech when I won’t have time to write a blog for all the juicy stuff! 

        

FROM A CAST PERSPECTIVE / O SAFBWYNT ACTOR

OLIVER WELLINGTON plays 'JAY'

It was great to get started with a proper good warm up today. With the show we're already beginning to establish a physical language that in specific sections lends itself to the non-naturalistic - and as I'm not the world's most natural of 'movers' anything that helps me loosen up is always a plus. 

Straight from this we played around with abstract movement sequences that we'll come back to and use parts of throughout the play. Although it's difficult at first to let yourself go (and also remember what move you just did) I bloody loved doing this, and by the end Jess (our Movement Director) makes you feel like you came up with these nice, fluid moves yourself - I now feel like the God of movement. Also it kind of helps you find the character and gives James and I a chance to play around with how we interact. And it's fun.

Then we got cracking from where we left off last rehearsal. We split up the text into James' character's monologue (HEFIN) and mine (JAY) separately at first. Alun has written parts the script (before our two characters meet for the first time) as two overlapping monologues, so Mared wanted to really go into detail with each of them first before piecing them together. 

I wondered how we'd rehearse scenes like this, and I'm glad it was done this way because I wasn't listening out for the Welsh ha it gives us a chance to focus wholly on creating the two separate worlds we're in - which is also important from an audience point of view too. There's a lot to think about - the bi-lingual aspect and the two separate/contrasting worlds of HEFIN and JAY. But it feels like it's just coming together.

Another thing to think about - and get better at *worried face* - are the 'other characters' within the piece which James and I take on. Working out their physicality, voice, gestures - everything but also making the smooth, yet clear transition back into JAY is a tricky one. But I mean, so fun - when will I ever get the chance to play a sassy, 43 year old woman from South London?

*MARED AND ALUN BEGIN HATCHING NEXT PLAY*

After we filled ourselves up on pizza for lunch we got started on scene seven, which again is constructed as two overlapping/interlinking monologues and we approached them like we did the previous one. 

Jess has a really good way of mapping out movement for us within the scenes and again makes you feel like you've done it yourself so it feels natural for us to do. I like how there's a structure and style to how we move around the stage and weirdly find it kind of freeing. 

I'm also enjoying how James is finding ways to add in his Signature Turn into each scene. Really great work haha. And this is the scene where the brothers meet in real life for the first time and as soon as we've got the lines down and I can understand (and perhaps even speak Welsh so fluently so I can tell when James has finished his line) it'll be a cracking scene to play. The awkward first meet of the brothers - it's gonna be a good'n!

The final scene of the day was scene 8 and here it was really fun to play with the abstract moves again which we have added to the top of the scene. Setting up the relationship between Jay and Hefin - Jay as the protector and Hefin as the wide-eyed naïve little brother. In fear of repeating myself it just feels like we're working through all the really nitty gritty bits for this week and really trying to nail the beats and moves and intentions, but we're not ready to play with it anymore than that just yet as I'm bound by my script. 

Must. Learn. My. Lines. 

I think that's when we'll really start moving things on. But for a second day of rehearsal we're not doing bad. Oh, and everyone is really funny. Top marks for rehearsal room banter. What more can you wish wish for from a day's work?

Oliver

==

JAMES IFAN plays 'HEFIN'

Diwrnod 2 in the big brother house. 

Diwrnod arbennig llawn egni. Dechreuon ni gyda warm up gan yr hyfryd Jess (sa'i di neud unrhyw ymarfer corff ers sbel so allech chi ddychmygu be o ni fel ar ol!) Ond oedd angen neud e! Nesaf aetho ni ymlaen i neud cwpwl o symudiadau dilyniannau er mwyn ffito mewn i'r sioe. Eto, nid exactly strong point fi yw symudiadau dilyniannau, ond wnes i a Oliver ffeindio lot o stwff diddorol a cael loads o hwyl yn neud e! Ni di ffeindio be yw signature move i yn y sioe sef.....Y SPIN! Love a good spin (Gewch chi weld pan ddewch i weld y sioe).

So ar ol sefydlu y signature move, aetho ni ymlaen i Golygfa 4. Penderfynodd Mared i neud yr olygfa fel dwy monolog yn gyntaf yn lle criss-crosso nhw fel yn y script, fel bod na mwy o syniad 'da ni o beth yw taith y cymeriad yn yr olygfa. Wnaeth hyn helpu loooooaaaddds i weld y byd lle ma'r cymeriad yn byw heb poeni am edrych mas am cues gan Oliver. Wnaeth hi neud yr un peth 'da Oliver wedyn, sef rhoi nhw at ei gilydd a wedyn HWRE we had a scene! 

Ymlaen at golygfa 5, bach o brêc i fi gan fod gan Oliver monolog enfawr cyn i mi ddod mewn reit ar y diwedd.

Bach o hwyl yng Ngolygfa 6 achos dyma'r tro gyntaf ma Jay a Hefin yn siarad (with a twist!). Nol a mlaen, short and sweet, cyffrous a nerfus a llwyth o emosiynau eraill.

Amser cinio! Pizza Pronto oedd y lle i fod heddi. Oedd Magic Wraps yn good, ond weithie ti just angen pizza, know what I mean? Ac wrth gwrs doritos, fruit pastels, mini doughnuts, krispy kremes nutella doughnut a afal o tesco.....dwi'n caru bwyd! Heb hyd yn oed son am y FREE PIZZA gafon ni gan y chef. Amser cinio llwyddianus dwi'n meddwl!

*NOTE FROM THE PRODUCER - SUGGEST HEALTHIER SNACK OPTIONS*

Ymlaen at y gwaith. Golygfa 7 - wnaethon ni neud yr un peth â Golygfa 4, splito nhw lan fel monologs gyntaf cyn rhoi nhw at ei gilydd. Llawer o gyffro gan y ddau gymeriad i weld ei gilydd. Let's just say dyw'r cyfarfod cyntaf ddim cweit be oedd Hefin yn disgwyl. Eto oedd 'na llawer o arbrofi gyda help Mared a Jess a llawer o chwerthin gan fi a Oliver, mainly achos o ni wastad yn anghofio llinellau ni! 

Loads o amser i gael nhw'n berffaith, loads...

Golygfa 8, golygfa ola’r diwrnod. Ma Hefin ar fws eto. Cafon ni lot o hwyl 'da hwn. Symudiadau newydd i weithio ar gyda Jess - Hefin wastad yn edrych mas o'r ffenest ar olygfeydd Llundain, Jay yn trio stoppo fe edrych fel fool. Pawb yn hapus ac yn gyffrous, cyn i'r twist digwydd (wnai ddim sbwylo fe i chi).

Amser i fynd gartref. Lot o hwyl heddi a mae'r golygfeydd yn dod at ei gilydd. Ma'r ddou diwrnod cyntaf wedi bod yn wych. Da ni'n cael hwyl 'da pawb yn yr ystafell a ma 'na deimlad y gallen ni greu rhywbeth really arbennig dros y mis nesaf. Ma'n mynd i fod yn sioe wych, ond dal lot o waith i fynd tan y finished article. 

Ymlaen at fory!!!

James

REHEARSAL DAY #1 / DIWRNOD CYNTA' YMARFERION

Day 1 @ A Good Clean Heart rehearsals

I love a first day.

Some people hate them, like an awkward first day at school, but I love them! The excitement, the nerves, the new team all getting together, the months of planning and sleepless nights of worry, Have I done this? Have I done that?  Did I tell everyone to come? Luckily we had done this, and that, and everyone who needed to be there, was there, on time, apart from Alun… Always fashionably late to his own read through! (That’s not even true, but never let the truth get in the way of a good story, as a wise woman once told me!!)

It has been a busy few months of planning, and developing the script, so for Alun and I to hear the actors read the play on day one is such a nerve-wracking but essentially great feeling. The second the actors bring the characters to life, all the worries disappear. The joy and interrogation begins… and we won’t stop either in any hurry in my rehearsal room! 

Actors James Ifan and Oliver Wellington, are already getting along (phew!) and Jess Williams has joined our creative team this time around as Movement Director. She works a lot with Frantic Assembly and her approach and input to rehearsals are so fresh and lovely to work with. After just one day, I am already feeling that this new production is leaping forward into a very new and exciting territory. 

The new script is leaner, and is reading at 1 hour which is great for a steady first reading, as we are going to have to get the performance into the tight 1 hour slot in Edinburgh (including all laughs!) ….no pressure…. no laughing allowed.

So on to tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow, where there will no doubt be some sweat, tears and a tiny bit of laughter (not too much!) along the way. But for now, the ‘work’ continues on this ‘boilingwool’ play (as Glesni our Company Stage Manager thought she heard Alun call it!!!)  I am so lucky to call this my work.

Nos da. 

==

Diwrnod 1 Ymarferion A Good Clean Heart

Mae rhai pobol yn casau diwrnod cyntaf ymarferion (fel diwrnod cyntaf swydd newydd neu hydynoed waeth diwrnod cyntaf Ysgol Gyfun!), ond dwi ddim.

I mi, dyw e ddim yn ddiwrnod cyntaf o bell ffordd, ond hefyd, mae’r holl gynnwrf, a’r egni o gael pawb at ei gilydd yn un hynod gyffroes. Heddiw oedd diwrnod cyntaf o ymarfer ar y fersiwn newydd o’r sioe. Croesawon ni actor newydd i’r tim, Oliver Wellington, a chroesawi James Ifan yn ol, ac roedden nhw’n dod ymlaen (phew!). Mae’n deimlad braf gweithio gyda actor newydd, a hefyd gweithio gyda actor sy’n nabod dy ffordd o weithio. Da ni’n dal i ddod i nabod ein gilydd, a fel ‘na fydd hi drwy’r cyfnod cyffroes yma o ddarganfod a chwarae gyda’r ddrama yn ystod y cyfnod ymarfer. Dwi ar fy hapusa mewn ystafell ymarfer gyda actorion da a drama dda, a dwi’n lwcus iawn i gael y ddau! 

Nethon ni ddechrau’r dydd gyda darlleniad o’r ddrama, gan yr actorion, a’i amseru! Ni’n lwcus bod Alun a fi wedi cael cyfle i weithio ar y sgript dros y misoedd dwetha, er mwyn ei chwtogi ar gyfer Caeredin, lle bydd slot digon llym o 1 awr gyda ni!Felly sdim amser i’r actorion i oedi i gofio llinell, neu unrhyw fath o saib ‘dramatig’ (neu rhech!)  achos roedd y darlleniad cyntaf bore ma’n 1 awr a 3 munud!Lle i wella ar hynny dros yr wythnose nesa, fel bod digon o amser i bawb gael chwerthin yn ystod y sioe orffenedig.

Da ni hefyd yn croesawi Jess Williams i’r tim eleni. Dwi wedi gweithio gyda Jess sawl gwaith yn y gorffennol, ac mae ei gwaith fel cyfarwyddwraig symud yn gelfydd a chreadigol, ac mae hi’n dod ag egni hyfryd i’r ystafell. Dwi’n edrych ymlaen , drwy ei gwaith hi,  i ddarganfod iaith corfforol y darn. Rhywbeth dwi’n awyddus iawn i ddatblygu tro yma wrth ail-ymweld a’r cymeriadau a’r byd. 

Yn lwcus, roedd pawb i weld yn dod ymlaen yn dda heddiw, ond ar y diwrnod cyntaf, mae pawb yn boleit bob tro, felly gawn ni weld os bydd unrhyw gwmpo mas yn digwydd…na’i gadw chi’n posted!! 

Digon o hwyl i gael, a fel’na fydd hi tra bod pawb yn gweithio’n galed (dwi’n siwr y byddan nhw!) Felly ymlaen yr awn at yfory, a drenydd a thradwy, yn y gobaith y byddwn ni’n neud y ddrama y gore y gall hi fod. Duw da ni’n lwcus cael galw hyn yn ‘waith’.

Ond am heno, nosda.