This is Bo's final blog post. This week he discusses the tech week, the opening night, the press night and reviews.
Transcript of Podcast
Tech week is to get all of the technical aspects of the show in place: the music, the lights, entrances, exits, timing of costume changes and basically anything else. It’s important for getting used to adapting the scenes to the space. Sometimes we have to change the blocking; for instance, we could never do the scene where the three fellows bungee down into the theatre in rehearsals (for obvious reasons!). We had to do that little section, then go back, so they could time how long it took them to put on the harnesses, to change their costumes, to climb out unobtrusively. It was actually two or three dress runs before the timing was right because they had to time their walk on the nets so as not to distract from the previous scene. So you do things like that over and over again until you get it right, and then you move on to the next difficult bit, and you do that over and over again, throughout the play.
In this case, tech week was quite unusual because of the netting and the bungees, and so in a way it had to focus on them. To me, it didn’t apply so much, because I stay in the same costume all the way through and I don’t have to go up in the nets, so I wasn’t affected by those issues. In fact, because I’m not on the nets, amazingly, I had a whole day off during the tech, which has never happened to me before!
The audience on the first night
It’s a shock when you first get on the stage. Because it’s a wall of faces, it can be quite overwhelming, but it also feeds you energy as an actor. I think it’s a really unique and wonderfully un-cynical space here at the Globe, because the audience really want to have a good time. Sometimes audiences are on their back foot; they want to sit in the dark and be entertained, in a “Show me what you’ve got” way. But here, it feels like they really want to enjoy themselves, so it gives you a certain amount of energy when you know that the audience are on your side. And even though my characters is a bit of an outsider, I think they like him because he goes against the grain They enjoy the naughty things that I do.
Once you’ve got all the technical stuff in place, then you need to recheck to make sure all the scenes are still working; they go on the back burner a bit during tech week. We trimmed a few scenes that seemed overly long; it can be a bit difficult to take on board, as you spend about six weeks doing the scenes. But we got there. There were also cuts to scenes internally and things were tightened up. The jig was played around with an awful lot. We did some nights without it, some nights with a short version of it; it took about a week and a half to get it to the point that it’s at now, where Lucy was happy with it.
Press night feels different because you know it’s going to be full. Everyone in the cast, the creative team and the crew all step up in adrenalin and excitement. I think everyone tries their best on that night, there is a certain kind of terror which goes around. I enjoyed it. I can’t be bothered with getting really worked up. I’ve done that in the past, getting really worked up about what the audience are going to think. But I just can’t be bothered anymore, and actually, now that I can’t be bothered, I enjoy myself it more and I seem to get better reviews. So it’s worked out; it’s the right attitude to have I think, to try not to care so much.
I haven’t really got a policy with reviews really. Sometimes I read them, sometimes I don’t. Every job is different, sometimes if you feel like they’re going to be slating you, you maybe hold back on reading them in case it knocks your confidence for the run. I was quite confident about this play, so when I saw a couple of reviews lying around on the tube, I just read them! They don’t tend to shape the play much anyway. Some people do find it very off-putting, particularly if something bad is said about them, so actors tend to respect that amongst one another and not talk about them.
These comments are the actor's thoughts or ideas about the part as she goes through the rehearsal process – they are simply her own interpretations and frequently change as the rehearsal process progresses.