Mind the gaps
December 12, 2013
The final push towards tech week. Perhaps the most important task for us now is to pick up the pace, closing up all the gaps between speeches and ensuring we blend from scene to scene with minimal fuss.
It's good to be in Stratford now because, while those of us with families will miss them and our familiar firesides, it's good to have just the show on which to concentrate without distractions.
We have much work to do over the Christmas period to get these plays sleek and fit for our opening night in January. The costumes are large, complex and beautiful; the lighting plot is large, complex and beautiful . . . the soundscape is . . . the music . . . the running water . . . the burning flames . . .
Am I whetting your appetite?
Lunch with the bunch
On Tuesday we had a buffet lunch with a chance to meet the people who work in the engine room of the RSC at the Chapel Lane offices.
I talked to Christine, who runs the IT system that is the conduit for the world to interact with what we do here. The ticketing system runs 24 hours a day, and when they have a big surge in demand (Richard II sold out almost immediately tickets were released onto the system, for instance) it is Christine who ensures that the servers don't melt down.
She gets emails on her phone all day and night, sent automatically, to update her with how things are going. Data must be secure, safely backed up, and instantly accessible. She can't improvise and bluff her way out of disasters like we can. She seemed remarkably calm about it.
The final final run
So on Friday we had the last run of Wolf Hall in the Ashcroft Room. It must be the finest rehearsal space anywhere; the views down the Avon to Holy Trinity Church can be breathtaking in the autumn mists. The run was slicker and snappier, and we do feel fit to move on now.
On Saturday we started the first of eight technical rehearsal sessions in the Swan Theatre itself. Progress is slow, but exciting, because there is so much to add that will enhance and enable the work we've been doing over the last ten weeks.
Top image: Notes on the final run-through.
Bottom image: the view.
by Nick Day
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