Sleeping Beauty: Rehearsal Diary – Week 2

by Ewan Black, Company Member

Another fantastic week has flown by with new discoveries and lots of laughs! We started the week off looking at scenes with the wise (fairy) women and developed our characters more. We improvised most of the first act and finished the week with a lot of content.

Doing the improvisations has been a great way of quickly getting to grips with our characters. Now that we know more about who we are playing, it has become very apparent that forming scenes will be easier. This is because we now know, with a bit more assurance, how the characters will react in the scenes we do. For instance, we have a fairy that is the leader figure so she tends the lead the way and give instructions.

This week we have also started receiving some of the script, written from what we have been saying in the improvs. I don’t know how he does it but Adam Peck has been lightning fast at taking down what we’ve said and a few days later we were presented with some pages of the first draft. It’s great, you will read through a scene and realise that most of it has been taken from what you’ve said the days before, so sometimes you already know your lines! The first half has started to take shape now and I’m more than sure it will be mostly there by early week 3.

Benji and his merry magical musicians have been hard at work too. They’ve been producing nearly a song a day! We’ve spent some time in the mornings learning the new songs and then late morning we sometimes get it on it’s feet and try put it into the scene. Although Benji creates the music it’s still up for discussion when we get to learning it. So sometimes if we feels like a lyric has a better alternative its a safe enough environment to just speak up. Most of the time we will all agree and the lyric will change. My favourite song to date has got to be the little bluesy number about wrapping poor prince Percy up in cotton wool to make sure he doesn’t get pricked by anything sharp. We call it the spoon song.

We also had Marc Parrett come in. He is the director of puppetry and we were working with him on how to breath life into some of the puppetry that we are doing in the show. We also workshopped the idea of the room with pointy things. We spent a few minutes, cutting out cardboard scissors and then manipulating them and bringing them to life. It looked fantastic but we ended up not using it as we came up with a different idea for that part of the show. This happens a lot but normally doing one thing will lead to something else so everything we do has worth.

Towards the end of the week we began getting a few more scenes down. Because of this Sally decided to have a sit down session and review what we had done. In these little sessions lines get added, cut and read many times. I imagine we will do this every so often to edit the script, make sure all of it makes sense and it’s, well… good!

So week two has proven very productive seeing us well into the second half of act one. I think we are on schedule so far but we have a lot of plot holes to fill and story line to be made clear in the coming scenes next week.

Ewan recently graduated from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and is a Peter O’Toole Prize winner, generously supported by Bristol Grammar School

Sleeping Beauty plays in Bristol Old Vic Theatre from 27 Nov 2015 – 17 Jan 2016. Find out more and book tickets here. Check back next week for more from Ewan in the rehearsal room.

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One thought on “Sleeping Beauty: Rehearsal Diary – Week 2

  1. Cath Olsson says:

    Sleeping Beauty.
    Well done, Ewan!
    Is it touring? Because we have a lovely theatre in Aberdeen called “His Majesties”!!!

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