We had a rehearsal before the show last night and I'm going to be honest, it did not go well, it was not the show any of us wanted it to be. It was a hot night, the air felt thick and after the run we had heavy hearts. We opened the doors and let in a small audience that was filled with the friendly faces of the people we have met over the last few days, some of whom had stayed on an extra day in Leeds just to come and see us. Anything can happen in theatre and something magical happened last night. The show went without a glitch (which is what we want and expect) what really amazed me is that it was, by quite a margin, the best performance of the piece I have ever seen.
Thursday started at 7am which is when Glen and I wake up to prepare for the day, Kim joins us at 8am and everyone else at 9am. After breakfast we started plotting the show at 10am which was the first time we had all been in the space as a group, working through each individual cue and programming the lighting desk. The Ludus festival and PSi conference are running concurrently so Tony had a PSi session to attend but we continued working and managed to get the desk programmed by about 1pm just in time for a quick lunch. Working in a new space is hard enough when you have time to rehearse, refine and practice; arriving in the morning at a venue and performing the same night is a real test of concentration, new blocking needs to be learnt, and even with spikes on the stage the best actors would still struggle to hit all their marks. The show is technical; sound, light, video, and a live camera feed average about one cue every 20 seconds for me, about 200 of them in total. This means that the performers on stage have to be absolutely accurate with their lines, movement and timing, otherwise it's a little like creating a hole in the matrix, the fabric of the show is liable to unravel in front of your eyes.
When Tony arrived back from the conference we spent about an hour making changes and looked at some scenes. Glen, Isaac and Ben were given some much needed time to rest in the afternoon and then after a bite to eat we reconvened for the dress rehearsal. It was a late show, we didn't open until 9pm, but with amazing help from the venue technician, Andy, who had stayed up late on Wednesday night building raked seating for us, we were as ready as we could be.
After the show we had some very positive feedback and the audience stayed to ask the performers some questions about themselves and the process of creating and staging the show. Handshakes, hongi, email addresses, and Facebook friends added, we left for our beds on a high, a very, very tired high.