a personal rehearsal diary

by Scott Graham

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

Day 28

The meeting with the cast goes very well. It is so detailed and we run out of time and are still only halfway through. The discoveries we are making, and some of them are genuine new revelations at this late stage, are all good and exciting and it strikes me how much the cast needed this. I hope we can get through all of this even if it is not until press night (Monday – or day 30). There are points in the plotting tech where they get the chance to try these new findings out. Sometimes they work and at other times they seem adrift as they have not really come from anywhere or the stop-start nature of the session kills the energy of the scenes. There is nothing to worry about here. We just have to get to the point where we are performing a full show and can judge our mistakes from there. This time, more than any other for a Frantic show, I think our two previews before the press night will be invaluable and full of things we will probably spend the next two days changing.

As for the press night, we have managed to attract three national newspaper reviewers. This is great news but it also puts a pressure on that night’s show that we never thought we would have. Normally we gear the press coverage towards the London run but this time we have worked towards national press coverage for the Plymouth run in recognition of the support of Plymouth Theatre Royal. It is just that we did not expect to be so successful in courting this press coverage and now we are in the situation where we cannot tell our cast and crew about this as it could just send them over the edge. We are all pushing to the limit to get this show on tomorrow night and know there will be elements of it that will not be right. We will also be doing our best to have the show in the best possible shape for the press night but no-one needs to think that we are about to be judged on such a large scale on our third show (and only the fourth full run). But that is the ‘good’ news that we will have to judge and break sometime before the big night.