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rehearsal room

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Some more picture-y goodness!

We are spoiling you now, Bazzers

But it's true, the rumours are confirmed - we do have some more excellent pictures from our rehearsal room to share with you! Feast thine eyes below:

Credit as ever, to the superb Cesare De Giglio  © 

 

 

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Flashback Thursday! One of Our excellent Trainee Director's Opens up about the early process...

Good Morning Bazzers!

Do we have a treat for you or what - our first Trainee Director of the project has written us a blog,  postcard from rehearsals all the way back in week one - it's a fascinating read during a week of final rehearsals: to understand and reconnect with the nucleus of the piece, what's changed and what's stayed the same. Thank you Stephen! And we're looking forward to a different experience every night too...

Full of expectation I arrived at the Vatican rehearsal studio for day one of rehearsals for ‘Dreamplay’. “We’ll probably spend the morning sat around a big table, reading the script, drinking coffee and discussing the themes of the play. Bit of uniting, a few games, definitely ‘Zip, Zap, Boing’”. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Following a brief introduction, Sarah led a warm up which involved the company moving around the room, engaging with the space. The warm up was followed by a series of improvisations directly linked to scenes in the play. Exploring the themes and nature of each of them, then discussing how it made us feel, both those taking part in the exercises and those watching.

The rest of the week continued to play out this way, so that by Friday we had looked at every scene. I really enjoyed being involved and seeing this process take shape. It felt like the company had a stronger understanding of each scene, their characters and the play as a whole; a group of fearless, daring performers who took on each challenge with pure enthusiasm and inspiring confidence.

As a trainee director, I assumed that I would spend a lot of the week just watching and observing the process, but instead felt very involved, contributing to discussions and exercises. I even had the opportunity to lead a morning warm up.

It was great observing the work that the company did with movement director Fionn. Seeing them completely let go and use their bodies to translate characters and situations, the physicality of the Clown and the Dancing Girls whilst owning their material and being in the moment. Something that all artists aspire to achieve, but do not always having the space and time to practice and explore.

By the end of the week I could see that all of my expectations were well and truly wrong and I’m so glad they were. I had learned a great deal from Sarah and the company. Even having taken over some stage management tasks, I felt that I had a better understanding of what everyone does. Having worked as an actor for several years and have directed a number of plays myself, this opportunity was a wonderful way to experience work from the other side and observe the many ways and approaches towards text, characters, scenes and production.

I really look forward to seeing the finished piece, well considering a lot will be improvised, a finished piece.

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Signals from the Blog-as-phere...

Ahoy! We are fully on the good ship Baz's dreamplay, and already nearing the end of the penultimate week of rehearsals! This is both bonkers and exciting, Bazzers. As ever we are loving exploring, playing and improvising our way through Strindberg's landscape, armed to the teeth with excellent acting talent at every turn, and with Sarah Bedi in the captain's hat/director's chair - the job is a good 'un. Seriously, guys. We've seen some of it. Dreamy stuff. 

In honour of this excellent  and immersive process, the arts review site Reviews Hub asked our director for her thoughts and 'rules' of engagement in the rehearsal space. Ask and ye shall receive some great comments and soundbites and witticisms that make us feel all grown up and knowledgeable, which we totally are. Got a badge and everything. Anyway, read on for some knowledge, some reflections and some thoughts. Well done, Cap'n!

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In the first of a regular series taking us behind the rehearsal room door, writer and director Sarah Bedi shares her thoughts on creating the complex world of dreamplay, opening in September at The Vaults in London.

Day two of rehearsals for dreamplay. Day two of playing, experimenting and feeling our way towards a complex dream-world that already feels endlessly surprising and unnerving. It’s early days yet and already some ‘rules of play’ are emerging from the room. We’ll keep adding to these as rehearsals progress until finally, we have a complete set of guidelines … but for now this is where we are at:

Rule #1: The parameters of our dreamplay are the same as those set out by Strindberg in 1907 in the preface to his A Dream Play:

“The characters split, double, multiply, evaporate, condense, dissolve and merge. But one consciousness rules them all: the dreamer’s; for him there are no secrets, no inconsistencies, no scruples and no laws. He does not judge or acquit, he merely relates; and because a dream is usually painful rather than pleasant, a tone of melancholy and compassion for all living creatures permeates the rambling narrative.”

Rule #2: The audience is the dreamer. We are in their subconscious. In a dream every person you meet is part of you; they must be as there is only your subconscious. Therefore every character our audience meets is also themselves, we are all part of the same consciousness. As the audience is the dreamer, it is to them the adventure happens.

Rule #3: There is a transaction with the character Daughter/Agnes: we become her and she becomes us.Daughter/Agnes/Audience goes on a quest to find out why humans suffer. We encounter suffering in various guises. Fear. Shame. Rejection. Loss. Anxiety. It’s everywhere, and it repeats. Endlessly. Perhaps this is human existence.

Rule #4: Everything in the space is live. Everything is physical. Nothing is ‘pre-made’ and therefore nothing is ‘pre-decided’ or ‘pre-determined’. Where possible, lighting is made through practicals operated by performers. Actors change characters in front of us, and we don’t rely on theatrical ‘tricks’. The magic is a different sort of magic that happens in front of us and with us. It’s open and generous and present.

Rule #5: In a dream anything can happen. This is not a get out clause. In the seeming chaos, there needs to be order – even if it’s order of a different kind. Dreams are made up of feelings, thoughts and the fragments of everyday waking life. There is still a structure of sorts: perhaps a spongy, bendy, illogical sort of structure, but it’s still a structure.

Rule #6: A dream is open to interpretation: there is no single ‘true’ reading of a dream. dreamplay is equally open to interpretation: there is no single ‘true’ reading of dreamplay. This is a show that isexperienced through the body as much as it is through the mind. It is not an intellectual experience, nor is it didactic. We aim to give the audience a bunch of dots and leave them free to join them however they want. Some will guess at our intentions, others will create their own story/meaning. Both are valid and right.

dreamplay runs at The Vaults, London 10 September to 1 October 2016

Read it online here: http://www.thereviewshub.com/production-diary-sarah-bedi-on-rules-of-engagement-for-dreamplay/

 

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