musician and YOUNG COMPANY MEMBER jack Orozco Morrison SHARES his DIARY FROM REHEARSALS FOR THE LIGHT BURNS BLUE. Setting out to ‘divide and conquer’, thoughts turn to music and time is of the essence as the company hurtle towards the next intensive rehearsal week…
As we enter into the final week of rehearsals before our next intensive week, there’s a faint sense of urgency in Rehearsal Room 1. We file in, chatting and laughing, but quickly discard our bags and form a circle. The pleasant freedom of exploration that we had become so accustomed to has now been replaced with a necessity for efficiency.
After the ritual of going around the circle and answering a question (this week asking which celebrity and which song we would take to a desert island), it’s down to business.
Lisa Gregan, our director, commands James Kent, our assistant director, to lead us in a warm up. And then whispers to him forebodingly to not let the warm-up go past 8:30. And rightly so, time is very precious now. The rehearsal process has now become a monument to efficiency; there isn’t an ounce of flab, not a minute is wasted. Lisa organises the process to maximise the amount of work accomplished; we split ourselves into two or three groups to ‘divide and conquer’, as it is now referred. Each group is tasked with a scene to reimagine; our job is to take the section of Silva Semerciyan’s fantastic script that we’ve been appointed with and find a way of translating it from page to stage. This is by no means an easy task; we have to take ideas that were conceptualised weeks ago and rethink them. We have to streamline, clarify the unclear and sometimes just make changes. Every time we reconvene and share the progress we’ve made, I see the play in a new light, as new things are constantly coming out of the story.
In the Friday rehearsal, I was told that I’m no longer in the scene Seen (a constant source of confusion) because I need to be playing the piano in this scene’s musical accompaniment. I was initially a bit disappointed that I wasn’t going to be able to perform in a scene which I helped create, but I soon sat down with Jake Bright, the musical director for The Light Burns Blue, and we began brainstorming. We watched the scene through, making notes as the actors rehearsed. We discussed the appropriate key signature, how to synchronise the music to the action and whether it would be too cheeky to slide from an F to an F#. We started improvising along with the scene and suddenly the music seemed to add a whole new element to it. As I often find in recent rehearsals, I was seeing a closer version to a final product.
There’s only three weeks left until we take to the Studio to perform to our first audience, but we’re working hard; lines are fast being learnt and everyone involved always comes to rehearsals with as much energy as they can muster, whilst still maintaining a necessary level of focus on the task at hand. Without a doubt, this play has been and is still a large undertaking, but as I sat behind the piano and watched the rest of the cast bring Seen to life, I find myself more than confident that we’ll end up with a play to be proud of.