Had a bit of a shock to discover an English lesson going on in the room when I arrived, but fortunately discovered that they were about to finish. And as it happened, the majority of the class were late arriving – even later than usual, I mean – so we had something of a fore-shortened class. Which was a little annoying, for we had a lot to do.
We had to start with some admin, arranging additional rehearsals, etc. In particular, we need to accommodate an extra rehearsal for Sherwan. We came to the conclusion last week that we were definitely one person short, so I contacted him. He still cannot make rehearsals on Tuesdays, so we hope we can sort out another one to fit him in. It will mean contacting the Hotel to arrange this, but it is definitely a plus that we can include him.
After this, we started to run through the various scenes in order. Not that any of them are yet performance ready, but actually I was pleased that we seem to be on the right track. I was going to include an additional movement scene, but at the last moment I abandoned it – I think we probably have enough material already, and this would have been time-consuming and stressful. If we decide we need additional material, we can think about it then.
But there are concerns about another scene, called “Carousel”, which shows the cast going through a stylised version of their day, again and again, getting faster and faster. We had an additional pair of eyes on this, a lady from Palestine (apologies – I forget her name) who had some pertinent insights and observations. She was not sure that it was working, and the cast are not very happy with this scene. I can cut it, of course, but am reluctant to do so for a couple of reasons. First, I think it shows an important aspect – the mundane nature of their everyday lives – which is not otherwise reflected in the piece. Secondly, I still have faith that it could be effective theatre. It is the movement pieces which are the most accessible for an audience, and I think that if we were to sharpen it up, with more precise movements, it could still be effective. But I have promised them I will not force them to do anything they do not feel comfortable with, so we shall see.
I was somewhat horrified to discover it was nearly time to finish, when there was still quite a lot to do. One solution was to continue for another 30 mins – it actually makes very little difference for me to catch a later train – which enabled me to run the final scenes… but without Godot, which is in some ways the most troublesome scene in the play. Because it is scripted, it relies on a certain accuracy. But we will start with that next week.
One month to go before our performance!