Propolis Theatre (Made in Bristol 2015) and Young Company member Elana Binysh shares her diary from rehearsals for The Light Burns Blue. The rehearsal process is well under way, and the company are faced with difficult decisions about what to cut, leaving great ideas on the rehearsal room floor…
This week is spent trying to figure things out.
What we have realised during this process is that this story is huge. It’s about belief, censorship, feminism, art, intelligence, theosophy, truth… We have had weeks to research and debate. We now have to try and compact it. It can’t all fit into seventy minutes (no interval), so we’re having to kill our babies. This is Bristol Old Vic’s way of saying if something doesn’t work, let it go.
We are still in a sense of limbo as, although we have a script, until we’ve decided which of our babies to put to bed, we remain uncast – bar our two leads. So we’ve been dissecting the structure. Lisa and Silva ask us to try the scenes in different orders, to see how they play against each other. We’re re-staging scenes we’ve already looked at in different groups, to see how they are interpreted with fresh eyes. Because the exciting thing about working like this is you’re in a room full of people who see things differently to you, and will make something you could never have made. And when you get twenty-odd of the most energetic and creative young people the Young Company has to offer, you don’t run out of ideas that quickly.
So we make the most of being an ensemble, which feels like a luxury – getting to make stuff with a lot of people on stage is rare, and invigorating. We work in big groups, trying to create the sense of a crowd of individuals, to give an idea of the world we think Elsie Wright lived in. And we’re getting there, I think.