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Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The Passion - Dress and Opening

I've been tardy the last few weeks and not posted anything about The Passion.  There haven't been any new photos because a. I was a bit busy and b. pictures of the cast doing exactly the same as in the last pictures but sans script is not really worth the effort.
To fill in the roller coaster ride of the last few weeks will take more time or energy than I can muster following the first night.  I think it can be boiled down thus: rehearsals got harder, rehearsals became a slog and after a vast amount of hard work, effort and bloody mindedness the cast, tech crew and myself managed to pull off a show.  And if the first night audience tells us truly, it has come out rather well.  The applause lasted a very long time and the bar was heaving with people afterwards - which is a pretty surefire indicator that we've done something right.  That said, there are another four performances to go, we have a lot to improve on, we have to remain focused and we can't pretend everything went smoothly on the first night. 
We have an interesting technical challenge with the show - air pressure.  The curtains are made of plastic dust sheets that move with the temperature of the air.  If we don't have equilibrium of temperature in the room then they move and you begin to fear that the auditorium will sail away with them.
Thus it was in Act One, as the curtain advanced resolutely on the cast onstage, reducing the playing area to an alarming degree.  We found the reason for the movement, a door backstage was creating a draft, and hopefully this will not be a problem again.
Those curtains have been the bane of my life for the last four days.  Looking at the simplicity of the set you wouldn't think that Keith, our SM, and I have worked 8 to 12 hour days since Saturday getting it ready.  I was up a ladder ten minutes before the audience were let in repairing the sodding things.  They are hopelessly delicate and very high maintenance.  (The dress rehearsal saw a few curtain problems too.  Most notably the curtains parting during one dramatic moment, so that a cast members bum poked through.)
All I can say now, in my post show drinking haze, is how proud I am of the cast and the show and I hope you get a chance to see it.  Below are some of the photos from the dress rehearsal - there is some motion blur on them as people tend not to stand perfectly still when doing a play.