Routledge

Extras

a personal rehearsal diary

by Scott Graham

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

Day 27

Mark Ravenhill has written an article for the Guardian from inside the rehearsal room. For us it is as much an insight into Mark himself. It reveals moments of insecurity as well as the confidence he invariably exudes. He also states how his confidence in us has grown as we have worked together.

Everyone needs to be appreciated. You sometimes don’t know how much until someone shows you a little kindness. We were very moved by Mark’s words as they offered us what we must always have craved but never dared take for granted. They gave us credibility as directors. I don’t need anything for Christmas now.

***

The lighting plotting sessions are going very slowly. It is much more difficult than I had imagined and the white set is causing problems. It is always upstaging the actors because it is always brighter than them. We are already in the position where we are going to have to cancel the first dress run as we will never be able to get through all that needs to be done by tomorrow night. This is usually the news that sends a wave of doubt through the cast. After all it only really affects them negatively. It means that the first proper performance comes along a lot quicker. They seem to take the bad news in their stride.

They have the morning off but they suggest that they meet up to continue through the text as we have been doing for the past few nights. Myself and Steven are not available for this but I fear that if one of us is not there then they could unravel all of the work we have put in. I feel we need to be there to guide and answer questions, to reassure and encourage. It will mean that one of us will have to miss the plotting session in the morning but it could be well worth it. I guess this betrays the fact that the actors really need this session and that we do not really trust them to have this session on their own. It is a good thing that they feel the previous sessions have been useful though. It makes me feel very positive about the outcome of the session tomorrow. It needs to be good as time is running out and before we know it they will be preparing to go on stage for the first preview and it will be all over to them. We can then only sit back and take notes from the experience. This of course is what we are all desperately waiting for as it all means nothing until you see what an audience gets from it.