That time is here again - the madness that is pre-show week.
The last two weeks before any production are pretty hectic as every aspect of the play comes together. All members of the company are running around putting the final tweaks to their particular role, and in general preparing for the get-in. The actors are all in a state of panic that the lines and cues they have spent weeks learning won’t escape them, and for me the Producer, I have to make sure that no fish has escaped the net, and everyone is set to go.
If I am not treading the boards, I quite often stand at the back of the auditorium and watch the audience watching our productions, and wonder if they have any idea of how much work and time has gone into the next couple of hours ahead of them. To give an example of that, here is a brief - and very much condensed - timeline for Someone, Somewhere:
25th April 2018 – Co-director Jane sent me a message saying I should listen to the radio recording of Someone Somewhere about murder victim, Jessie Earl
26th April – I listen the radio show and we both agree it would make a great play.
27th April – send an email to Toby Swift at the BBC asking for our message to be forwarded to the writer Pat Davis.
30th April – wrote a letter to John and Valerie Earl.
2nd May – Pat Davis called and we talked through our ideas.
11th May – sent a treatment to Pat Davis of our vision.
11th May – Pat emailed to say that she had spoken to John & Val (Jessie’s parents) and we had the green light to go ahead with the project.
11th May – cast Sam as Jessie.
17th May – Pat sends the original script she wrote for the radio play, Jane and I start work on turning it into a stage script.
21st May – the publicity image is created.
20th July – cast James as John.
13th August – Jane and I meet Pat in London.
16th August – Pat sends the John & Valerie interviews script.
1st October – Tickets go on sale.
3rd November – I go and visit Jessie’s grave.
21st December – the 4th draft of the script is sent to the cast.
6th January – first conversation with Zoe our costume /wig designer.
7th January 2019 – first rehearsal. Two a week from now on in.
8th January – booked the recording studio for the Belles to record the song in March. They start work on learning it.
16th January – first meeting with David our photographer and filmmaker re the projections.
16th January – first conversation with Martin our sound designer.
17th January – the final draft of the Script (number 8) approved by Pat.
18th February – I meet John and Valerie Earl.
22nd February – new script additions received from Pat.
22nd February – we film a segment and appear on BBC South East.
26th February – all tickets sold.
26th February – James, Sam and I visit the house Jessie lived in.
4th March – Version 1 of the sound cue sheet completed.
11th March – the Belles in the recording studio.
13th March – books down for the cast.
17th March – Version 1 of the lighting cue sheet completed.
25th March – full rehearsal with tech & the Belles.
27th March – technical run.
5th April – 1st get in.
6th April – 2nd get in.
7th April – 3rd get in and full technical rehearsal.
8th April – dress rehearsal.
9th April – opening night.
So there you have it, a brief insight into the last twelve months. There has been much more going on during that time, but for fear of spoilers, and privacy I have deliberately not included them on the timeline.
Excuse me while I go and lie down.