Posted: 2020-05-28 12:00:00
Love scenes are never easy. On stage, on radio and on screen. Birdsong is famous for it’s love sequences- and rather racy they are too. We went from expressionist dance to a more reserved tighter sequence underscored by James watching on the balcony singing a song....which sounds better in practice than written on the page.
Yesterday we went to battle with the love scene in a new ZOOM format. It’s not my favourite thing to rehearse over a laptop. Made all the more surreal when Sebastian Faulks joined us and was heard but not seen watching in the background slightly surprised by what he was seeing.
Obviously ( I hope) we are not doing the scene in the conventional sense, rather in a 3 way shared narration between Stephen, Isabelle and Sebastian. This will be augmented later by some clever editing/filmmaking with James singing and underscoring it all. We have kept it short and we hope effective- but I suspect from the frequent guffaws and laughter it’s quite an ask for the actors. But frankly that embarrassment and sense of the ridiculous permeates any rehearsal of a love/sex scene- zoom perhaps only heightens it.
But it’s important too. The original title of the novel was ‘Blood and Flesh’- the human body explored in all it’s beauty and destruction and contrasted in ‘the red room’ and then at The Somme and in the horrors of subterranean war fare. It’s important we don’t skip it just because it’s a bit uncomfortable. Doesn’t make it easy though.