Posted: 2020-05-21 12:00:00
It remains a very odd place to rehearse a play. A bit like turning up expecting a theatre and instead finding yourself in a car park. A place perfect for parking cars but not so much kitted out for presenting an ambitious theatre show. A morning was spent bring our new production manager up to speed and battling with the lockdown postal service who have lost half our kit which is en-route to actors various spread around the country.
Whilst I battled with logistics Charlotte spent an hour of her 2 hour session teaching the Tim how to work his new iPhone whilst Max (Max Bowden playing Tipper) and Liam looked onwards from their comfortably installed virtually imposed backgrounds. By the afternoon it was my turn in the directors chair looking at three scenes between Stephen Wraysford played by Tom and Captain Gray played by Malcolm James. Malcom had excelled himself by rigging a bed sheet behind him in his home office in his Brighton home. He was he envy of all.
The first 45 minutes was then of course spent battling with technology and in the end we had to call Apple Technical Support (in fact it’s just Liam who seems to know more about it than all of us) who was now in a post office as he relayed to me via phone who then relayed it back to the Zoom rehearsal. It was frustrating. It was of course a rather hot day yesterday- so it was remarkable that everyone has thus far remained reasonably calm and polite.
I share a flat with our musical director and his girlfriend. There are many advantages to this when you are collaborating on a project as the only two people who can have a face to face conversation in the entire company. Yet there are disadvantages. Musicians practice hard, it doesn’t happen by magic. Thus my days have been filled with songs from the show. One of the major set pieces is set to the Irish rebel song Ned of The Hill. It’s beautiful and stunningly sung by James (now doing all the parts usually shared by a cast of 13 people). Inevitably it has driven the rest of us slightly stir crazy as the song goes round and around the house and into our heads. I humming ‘Ned of The Hill’ in what little sleep I am catching, which is just one of the side effects of creating Birdsong from home.
Then that sleep was disturbed at 10pm when Dom the sound designer called me and said that Zoom had changed a setting due to the high bandwidth being used across the world which limits the resolution of the recordings- potentially scuttling the project. Cue calls into the night to Zoom executives to try and get them to make an exception to this new ruling....so far to no effect. Further calls to be made today. It could be that zoom is now simply unworkable. My main feeling is that we may have awoken a monster.