For our second rehearsal via touring company The Fringe Files, we focused on character developmen
For our second rehearsal via touring company The Fringe Files, we focused on character development.
Minus Samantha (the daughter), who was away, we were able to explore characters Irene (the mother) and Vincent (the care worker) specifically. As a collective, we brain stormed a host of interesting character backstory ideas which, perhaps, go some way towards explaining who they are, using clues embedded within the script as a starting point. This gave us a better grounding for things to come. I feel that it’s important to build up the character foundations before focusing too much on the script.
One of the techniques introduced yesterday was habit based movement. In the case of Irene (the mother), we played with subtle glances to Vincent, geared to prompt sympathetic acknowledgement. There are three instances of this occurring, each one consistent with the last. This play is all about body language and tension. It’s not what you say, but how you say it. Harold Pinter‘esc, with pausing held to raise impact.
The play itself is split out into nine sections. We were able to drive through two of these last night. Word by word, line by line, we extracted a host of ideas to help generate a better emotional understanding of the dialogue spoken. Each moment was collaboratively explored. Gestures, movement, eye contact and overall reaction.
Samantha is a step away from comedy theatre for me. I’m really enjoying the process of pulling richness from the dialogue. There are one or two comedy moments within the script, but these are awkward based observations rather than puns or gags. I like the idea of blending in a slight hint of comedy, like putting half a teaspoon of sugar into a cup of tea to make the whole thing taste that little bit sweeter. I’ve always placed comedy elements into drama.
With the introduction of our techie last night, we were able to kick-start an initial visual brainstorm. Probably the most pleasing thing here is that I feel that there is plenty of scope for developing something rather unique and special.
I spoke of the nine sections of the script earlier, well, wedged between these nine sections are eight transitional breaks. I would like to develop these breaks into something rather abstract. Those who have seen shows I’ve directed in the past will know that I do enjoy adding abstract elements. It’s something that’s open to interpretation by the audience. I like that. Like comedy, adding abstract hooks is absolutely fine, if relevant to the overall map of the play.
Next week, we have the full cast in, and it will be a continuation of what we worked on this week. A recap and then a push forward into scenes involving Samantha. In particular, there is a birthday party section which, on paper, is just brilliant. I cannot wait to develop that scene with the cast.
Samantha, is a one act play which debuts via theatre touring company The Fringe Files this Autumn in the form of a mini tour. Do be sure to keep an eye on our developments here. Tickets will be released for performances nearer the time.