Although we’ve been working on it for months and months, last week was when we finally realised just how soon our Home Nations Festival kicks off, as three (of our four) hard-working creative teams arrived at Tron Towers for the traditional pre-production meet and greet, cramming into our Vic Bar to say hi, have a catch up and nick a cup of tea and a biccie before sloping off to begin rehearsals on Edwin Morgan’s Dreams & other Nightmares, Beowulf and Under Milk Wood.
If we haven’t talked about it enough, our Home Nations festival includes four main productions, all taking place between 17 July- 3 Aug, which means for the next three weeks every space in our building is being given over to rehearsals, costume fittings, set builds—not to mention the normal manic panic in the admin office! It’s definitely the most exciting time to be in the theatre, but it’s also more than a little bit stressy. We’re getting through an awful lot of cake right now.
Our community company working on Under Milk Wood have been rehearsing since the beginning of the year, so they’re on the final strait now, getting ready to go on the Tron stage. The set is starting to take shape, transforming Charlotte Lane’s model box (see below) into its full-size glory. You might have noticed, we’ve been putting calls out on our Facebook for a host of empty green and brown glass bottles to decorate the set: we need LOADS, so if you can help, Box Office would love to take your empty (clean!) glass bottles to add to our Under Milk Wood masterpiece!
The Edwin Morgan rehearsal room is at a totally different stage. We’re re-staging the show (we first co-produced it back in 2011 with Glasgay!) so in the first week back our two returning cast members (Davy McKay and Steven Duffy) have been re-familiarising themselves with the script and getting to know Laurie Ventry, who’s coming on board this time round in the part of The Biographer. It’s always great to see how new actors can change the chemistry of a show, make scenes run differently, give whole interactions a totally different feel—but it still works. Magic of theatre and all that.
And in Beowulf rehearsals—aside from devouring whole packs of Tunnocks tea-cakes!— our three-woman company is working to bring Seamus Heaney’s poetic epic to life. Beowulf is a dramatic reading, with only minimal props and costumes, so much of the drama has to come directly from the performances. Luckily, we’ve got a brilliant cast, in the form of Lorraine McIntosh, Helen McAlpine and Anita Vettesse.
As well as rehearsals of course, all around the building we’re doing our final prep for Home Nations opening night. Invitations are being sent out; programmes for the shows are being designed and signed off; costumes are being created, fitted and adjusted; our new Best Of British menu is being finalised… Everything is all go!