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Rehearsal Room Blog

Join us as we explore enter The Changeling rehearsal room... Over the next few weeks cast and creative will be blogging daily sharing their experience of working as an ensemble, their research and staging this monumental play. 


I've lost track of the days. And I missed Friday's blog.

But here we are. The staging phase of the process. Our final week in the rehearsal room before we move into the Southwark Playhouse.

This is where all of the exploration we've done thus far comes into play - literally and figuratively!

Lots of anxiety on Friday - thinking we have so much to get through in so little time. But today assuaged those fears. We've got through two of the five acts! Plus - we have tech and seven previews to polish things up if need be.

My experience in devised theatre is helping my mindset here; often devised theatre is less about the product and more about the process - the journey that takes us from point A to point B. Of course, we want to create something that's compelling and entertaining - this is not an excuse to lift the foot off the pedal. All of the text work and all of the physical explorations gives us the petrol we need to really put pedal to the metal.

Mikko Juan (Ensemble)

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WHAT A DAY!!!!! Much fun was had today in lots of extremely silly ways. Oh there were wigs, tambourines, drums, high vis jackets, candlesticks, bells, potions, lotions, smoke & fire and lots and lots of laughter. And we danced our merry way through all of it. We put the play back together again today from beginning to end, speaking our text to a willing audience of receivers (aka the rest of the cast) who confirmed back to us that we were actually making any sense at all!!! Super helpful to identify any remaining gaps. After all, if we don’t know exactly what we are saying how the hell can we expect an audience follow along. A really great, really physical day. Lots of food for thought.

Emma Wilkinson Wright (Vermandera)

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And that’s a wrap on another week. Only one four-day-week left in Deptford till we depart for our new home at Southwark Playhouse.

We spent the morning combing through observations found in French-Sceneing & the discoveries of dictionary corner. Henrietta had a great observation about timelines… Alsemero leaves his cabinet of dreams unlocked for Beatrice to find, and off he goes gallivanting in the park. He presumably returns to lock it at some stage. I wonder what went on in those two offstage moments. Was suspicion mounting? He had left his book of secrets dog-eared, his wife’s virginity was clearly on his mind in some respect. This intrigued me; here are two new pins on the criminal investigation wall charting Alsemero’s conflict of instinct/idealism.

When making our way through the long list of religious references, it became apparent how their frequency dwindles the further into the play we go. The deeper into the labyrinth these characters venture, the further they stray from God. “Here we are lost” - “You know not where you are.” References to the devil, hell and the occult begin to usurp all the heavenly metaphors heavy in the first half. The castle as a psychological space starts to be taken over by Beatrice and Deflores’ brutally Godless ideals, forcing Alsemero into their domain, away from his truth, where only madness remains. I don’t think he’s ever faced a foe quite like these two, he doesn’t even try to fight them like he does Alonzo and Tomazo. I imagined Aslemero and Deflores as Batman and The Joker. Alsemero strives for a truth higher than what the world, with all its sin and associated emotional baggage, can offer. Deflores laughs at what’s above him- “fates do your worst” - he revels in pleasures, happily shagging and stabbing his merry way to hell.

In the afternoon we began staging. Scene 1. We opened in a solemn, metered world of the Catholic Church. Infected by the musicality of this world, I mused and found it hard to get a pace going. Something wasn’t quite right so Ricky tossed this world aside in favour of something inherently more pacy, exciting, and in Jamie’s words, ’distilled.’ We ended the day round the table in a kind of Mad Men board meeting, telling this story how it is, as actors. More to follow on Monday…

Mylo McDonald (Alsemero)

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