Di and Viv and Rose is a play full of fun and laughter. It’s fitting, therefore, that the rehearsal period has been exactly the same. As Becky, who plays Di, Emma, who plays Viv and Casey, who plays Rose, are all such good friends in real life, it’s really added something to the production but also added to the giggle-factor. Quick scene changes and a plethora of costumes have provided challenges off the stage while emotional content, strange facial expressions and pronunciation issues have kept, Sandra, the director, and the girls working hard on the stage.
Rapid scene changes have led to this show having over 80 lighting cues. The first scene has changes timed to pieces of music. Believe it or not, this has actually been a boon for the tech team as the music software has a handy count down bar that Leah, the lighting tech, can watch to time when she brings the lights up. This saves Leah and Martin, the sound tech, from having to do ‘The Tech Box Stare’! If you’ve ever seen two animals stare at each other before they’re about to try to rip each other’s throats out, then you’ve seen the intensity in which the tech box crew have to stare at each other to perfectly synchronise lighting and sound.
It’s impossible to tell what audiences think goes on backstage. We found this out during Avenue Q when a large percentage of the audience didn’t realise we had a live band back there along with 30 odd puppets and at least four back stage crew running around with ladders! During Di and Viv and Rose, Zoe, our costume person, has been a hero. As this play takes part over a long period of time, she had to fit the girls out with an outrageous number of costumes. The very quick scene changes meant that she had to find ingenious ways to slim down the costume changes and make them as easy as possible. Tory, the stage manager, has also made a herculean effort to make the scene changes as smooth as possible. Many shouts of “GIVE US A MINUTE” have come from these two mighty women during the rehearsal period.
All three girls have been challenged in undertaking these roles. Becky, however, has only ever done musicals before so had a particularly hard time. We didn’t mean to laugh but, she did insist on coming out with some crackers. Here’s a few:
On Sandra telling her to stand in character – “I don’t know how to stand as a gay woman, or even a non-gay woman if I’m honest”
On Becky thinking it was odd to see the word ‘silence’ in the script and Sandra pointing out that people pause from speaking in real life – “Really? I always try to fill silences and pauses” – she then needed reminding that everyone pauses, except her!
But Becky wasn’t the only one who made humour gaffs. Emma had her moments too. The most memorable being how she pronounced microfiche as “meecrofish”! She also managed to nearly smash Becky’s phone whilst practising acting drunk.
Throughout the rehearsal period, the girls found peculiar crossovers between being good friends in real life and being good friends in the play. Becky found it strange to see her real-life friends making faces in character that she’d never seen before. They also all found it difficult not to laugh at the stern faces their friends were pulling during the serious parts of the play. Aspects of the play have even bled into their real lives like when Casey moved house recently and they found themselves ‘improvising’ due to lack of glasses to drink out of.
With all the challenges conquered and giggles kept where they belong, the show is ready to go. Join us at the Lamb Theatre this week. Click here for more information and to book tickets.