a personal rehearsal diary

by Scott Graham

from the making of pool (no water) by Mark Ravenhill

Day 21

Today is the first day I have thought about not writing this diary. Mainly because I know it is going to be negative and whiny again. But here goes.

Steven worked with them this morning on ‘Select Delete’ and adjusting an earlier scene. We then recapped all the use of music in the show as Imogen Heap was coming in to have a look, give advice, etc. The cast were a little slack through this but again delivered some good work. They are effortlessly getting better. Actually ‘effortlessly’ is a complete fallacy. What I mean is these scenes are getting better and the performers are not yet giving their all.

The presentation to Imogen goes well and we spend the last 20 minutes looking at the revised ending which Mark delivered this morning.

I am still not sure that it totally succeeds and I think the cast feel this too. If not, they should because their main concern was that the old version suggests that they were in fact bad artists. This version is unequivocal on that matter.

I would like to clarify this and other matters with Mark. I am ready to be convinced. I just feel that to move forward we all need to be singing from the same hymn sheet.

When we read through this last section some of the performers become tetchy again. I have to bite my tongue as I am not sure whether some of their comments are constructive or obstructive, but if they feel that the end has not settled then it is stopping them from moving forward and doing their job and that must be frustrating. And maybe that frustration comes out as slight petulance aimed at us.

Maybe this is not the case. It was clear that we were all very tired at the end of today and maybe it was wrong to use those last 20 minutes. I would suggest that it is never worth starting something new at the end of the day when everyone is so tired but one of the actors requested it and I needed to hear the new text. In fact we all needed to hear it. I think the performers’ fear was that we are never going to complete this. This frustrates me and, as I have said before, I find it disrespectful. Of course we are going to address it. But I can appreciate how it feels for them and how they need this clarity now. The truth is we all do. And we need to work together to find it and not wind ourselves up thinking no-one else cares.