Hello everyone! I am very excited because we have recently done our home performances of our National Theatre Connections festival show ‘Class’ – and what a show my group did! Class was a fun show to rehearse and a fun show to watch during our performance nights. The audience had a brilliant reaction to it, and laughed at sections we didn’t expect them to. I think this was partly due to the amount of slang that is in the script, as many of the young people in the cast do not naturally talk like that – so hearing them speak in a different way was at times amusing – they acted it so well; as well as that the script did have some really funny moments in it, so I am pleased we got such a good reaction from the audience.
Rehearsing this show, whilst being fun, has also had its challenges. Line learning can be difficult at the best of times, and it was a challenge during this show too; however our young people really pushed themselves hard to get the lines learnt in time for the show – which pays off because once an actor feels confident in what they are saying, they can play around with the acting side of things more, and are then able to give more convincing performances. All of these are challenges which come with acting weather you are a young person or an adult. To try and help with the line learning process during rehearsals we did some line runs – no acting, saying lines only, to help them to try and remember who comes before them in the script. This also helps them to remember their lines. Another challenge for the cast is to try and keep a lively classroom feel on stage without pulling focus from the people talking, and doing all this without having any lines during the scene or be involved in that specific scene. One of the things we did to help with this was to explore the story of each character. We did this in a number of ways including ‘Hot Seating’, where we ask the character an array of different questions to help them think in more depth about their characters back story. We also went through the script and looked at the relationships between different characters – who likes who, who says what about each other. This helps the actors get a more in depth sense of who their character is, which informs what they would/would not do in the background of the scenes. We did many other exercises to help with this. In the performances they all did a really good job of keeping the energy up without looking bored, pulling focus or being too loud. Well done – as it can be quite tricky!
Moving onto our next performance in Norwich, there are things we need to think about in order to prepare for this show; we are in a much bigger venue, which means a couple of things: a bigger stage to fill and a bigger auditorium to fill with our voices. To help the group prepare for this we are doing a number of different things: vocal exercises, and using our space differently. We are doing vocal exercises to ensure our voices are warmed up properly and cast are using their diaphragm correctly to help their voices be much louder than normal. Using their diaphragm will also support their breathing and use of voice properly without straining or hurting their vocal chords. We have also been looking at our use of space. The stage is much bigger in Norwich and we have to account for this when moving positions and coming on and off stage.
We have recently done a really fun exercise where everyone has to run a scene performing the loudest and most exaggerated they could in order to fill the space – although the cast will not perform like this, it does create some nice moments that we have not seen before as well as give the group a sense of how much bigger they need to perform when they perform in a bigger space. It was also really funny for everyone involved!
All in all, the group have done a great job on their first performance, and are working really hard to make their second one even better. I am really proud of the commitment the cast have shown and can’t wait to take them to Norwich to perform there!
If you would like to see them in Norwich on Wednesday 3rd April, 2pm at Norwich Playhouse, please call: 01603 598598 Tickets are only £2
Thank you for reading – I hope you have found it interesting hearing more about what goes into a rehearsal and putting a show on.
Bye for now!