Tuesday, 20 July 2010
Well here we are, the day of the dress rehearsal. We have had 2 long days of repeating, repeating, repeating dance numbers, dialogue moments and 'business'. The 'business' being the seemingly spontaneous humour and body language shifts which are final touches to add bite and professionalism to all the the stage palaver, and which of course, the audience assumes are 'of the moment', when infact they are planned to the last nanosecond, with all the precision of a top secret commando invasion !
The energy is lifting with each day, and now when most of the cast feel as though they have actually got to grips with the moves, they will allow some small measure of enjoyment to creep in! The costume accessories, ie naval caps, flapper hats, cigarettes holders, lacrosse stick etc. are growing with each hour of rehearsal, and singers are sliding under the skin of their role with more and more ease.
Our Captain Corcoran, quite apart from the glorious vocal acrobatics, has become a somewhat worrisome clone of Bertie Wooster, and I feel sure he will be spending his post show summer greeting all with a cheery 'What Ho'. He has developed the bashful grin and the tongue-tied ineptitude of the 'dim but nice' uppercrust idiot. I love him!
The bounce off play between the 'main men' is like a fast moving tennis match, the comedy flicks nicely between players, with much eye contact and slightly Blackadder lunacy.
The girls are brilliant, our saucy and flirtacious Buttercup who, incidentally, has a voice the size of Bournemouth, is causing havoc with the male chorus hormones, and she works so well with the guys. It is not so common to find a young lady with such a talent, who can also 'do' funny - but when her rehearsal 'gauche' has gone she will most definitely squeeze many a guffaw from all but the most straightlaced of audiences.
Sir Joseph is wonderfully camp, the extra, and growing in number as we speak, added adlib lines which are mostly along the lines of ' Mama do'snt like me saying What Ho' are understatedly hysterical. He is a man who relish's the character roles as if they were a particularly buttery bacon sandwich, and he makes all around him raise their game !
The spoilt and brattish Josephine, is a beautiful 1920's 'heartless', night club loving character, and our immensely talented young soprano is positively awash with high pitched indignation at the position she has been put in. Her duet with the endearingly brainless Ralph, whose tenor voice soars up to the top G's and A's with breathtaking pp tone, is very moving - and very real. As a couple they are powerful and fiery, which makes for edge of the seat precipitous balancing!
The stage is set.
....................................Small moment of vicarious butterflies!