Wednesday, September 06, 2006

First Run

Woke up with the butterflies again - and I don't mean Zhu Yingtai and Liang Shanbo. There's always that crux moment in rehearsal when you just have to run the play for the first time. Usually it's forced on me by the Lighting Designer needing to see it before the plan gets done. So - Mark was there today, as were Kath, Simon, and several people from Riverside. Try as we might to pretend this isn't an audience (and it isn't really - because they are all working on the show and have to be there), it adds something to the trepidation.

So - it's a delight when things start to go rather well. Hiccups from time to time, of course - like suddenly realising we've only rehearsed the language tape scene once, and that without our new sountrack - so there are bits where the whole thing looks like grinding to a halt. But the afternoon is spent sorting all that out. And, at last, we see the shape of what we've got.

It's emerging from its chrysalis - our butterfly. Beautiful and fragile. Maybe too beautiful and fragile - we're a bit scared that if we do anything rough we might break it. But that's the next stage, I think - to give it a recognisable contemporary edginess: an undercurrent of sexiness and violence that constantly threatens the delicacy. That's what this shifting relationship between the West and China has always been: an amalgam of erotic fascination and intense confrontation. In our little rehearsal room, which is a microcosm of these clashing worlds, we're finding a space which allows us to find ways of expressing that together.

In with a chance, I think.

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