"Last weekend saw the rehearsals get properly underway for 'Alchemy' in London. It was a two day package, where we used the time to start working on the structure of the show. Who should be on stage and when? What props do we need? Almost everyone was there, and we managed to get through most of the show. Strangely at this stage, singing is really not that important. We just need to know we had some kind of visualisation of how ‘Alchemy’ would work in this small intimate theatre. The good news was that Ian Baldwin and I were very much on the same page, so this ‘starter for ten’ went very smoothly with Ian taking charge and helping the cast see what we wanted to put across to the audience.
On day two, we spent the afternoon with a small collection of cast member, and went through vocal lines. I wanted to make sure things hadn’t got ‘lost’ along the way, and also I wanted to see how Matthew Ronchetti was getting on with things. The answer to that was ‘very well’, so this was an easy rehearsal. Ross Andrews was starting to acquaint himself with the part of Greaves as well (he will be playing Greaves, and the Captain for this production), so this was a fruitful session.
In the evening, the chorus gathered again. Yes, ‘the chorus'... ;)
We decided that there was no way we were going to be able to put ‘Alchemy’ across on stage without at least a few extra people to give us some points of interaction. At first I had the idea of simply putting a few of our Caamora chorus member into the audience seats... in costume... then getting them down to the stage every now and then, for moments where we really needed an extra person or two. However, it soon became clear that they would be up and down far too much, and in fact their roles would be rather essential to the running of the musical. So, we now have six chorus members, and indeed Ian as well, to provide us with all sorts of human colour!
And this was what we began to rehearse in the evening. In a rather interesting setting... that being the newly built car port of Chirs Lewis (singing Anzeray, and now also Milosh). It was a lovely warn night so this setting was ideal, and allowed us to begin to ‘mark out’ the size of the stage (this time with flower pots!), and where the scenery would be. Now were are starting to see just how much room we have to play with!
We worked through some of the bigger set pieces, and I must admit there was a heartening moment as I sat there watching, where suddenly I thought, ‘yes, I think we CAN do this!’ I could see us the stage at the Jermyn Street Theatre. That was an important moment!"
June 10, 2014