The world of a director is a fickle one. Several weeks pass in a frenzy of chaotic CD listening and prancing around on the kitchen floor (much to the dismay of one pet dog who is determined to take us both off for an evening walk) and then, suddenly, peace reigns again. Has something gone wrong? Has the enthusiasm for this crazy project finally waned for good? No, it is simply preparation paying off.
Act 1 is all on paper (yes, believe it or not, it is true) and most of it has now been sung, staged and danced. Although we’ll need to work through it a few more times until we reach performance standard it is already starting to be great fun to watch and the cast’s enthusiasm rolls off the front of the stage (well, over the tops of the children’s plastic chairs we are using to mark out the stage area).
The wonderful ladies of the wardrobe have spent two delightful evenings listening to my excessively enthusiastic monologue on costumes and have now set off to seek out the goods. The goods so far are looking extremely impressive – can’t wait until we start seeing them come to life on the cast.
And then, on one bitterly cold night before the snows set in, I met with the delightful creative team behind the set and prop design over a cuppa or two. After a few strange looks we started to come up with some plans. Not helped, I have to add, by the keen footballer supporters running in and out of the room at a moment’s notice or by the incessant beeping of our mobile phones. Ah, but creativity cannot be reigned in by even the most intense distractions and on we marched into the deep world of scenery development.
It was not long until I realised that I do not have measuring skills. I had not brought a tape measure and had not worked out the size of the stage versus the size of the scenery I was suggesting. Nor had I thought through all the practicalities. I genuinely didn’t think there was anything wrong with considering the possibility of a full-scale revolve in the centre of the stage or a hydraulic lift sequence built into our humble wooden stage. I mean, who would? With that grander vision put to one side we started out on the more interesting things like how to develop an over-sized giant Bible or how to give life to skeleton sheep. And did I mention what colour pyramids we are going for? It seems dusky pink is not appropriate.
Of course, this is a kind of calm before: “The Storm: Part 2”. Act 2 might be in my head but it is not on paper and definitely needs to be. If we have enough interest in our little Children’s Choir I’m going to need to get moving with the rest of the staging for them. The programme is calling for my attention and there will be plenty more discussions on costumes, staging, lighting, singing, dancing, etc still to come. But, I will enjoy every minute while it lasts. Where is that book I’ve been saving?