Friday, September 15, 2006

Up and Running

Dis-Orientations finally opened last night. The climax of two years' hard graft, one month's mind-boggling creativity, and four days of technical hell. That's not an insult to my wonderful technical team - it's just the nature of the beast. This is a very complex show in technical terms, and we were only able to start fitting it up on Monday morning. That meant we were faced with a technical rehearsal starting Tuesday lunchtime, with Mark plotting the lighting as we went along. I never really understand how Mark is able to extract such fluid beauty out of mayhem - but I guess that's been the nature of the whole process.

Stuff that happened:
  • we tried to re-lay the floor, but found ourselves using a thin silver material, which didn't glue properly, and ended up ripping and sliding around through Tuesday night. Inverted the floor and re-patched the original. Now it looks fine.
  • we discovered that Yueju is amplified. I hadn't realised (they must have brilliant sound technicians in Shanghai). Did the dress rehearsal and preview with Ruihong and Haili singing acoustically, which was pretty but not present enough. After phoning everybody I could think of, I was finally able to track down two radio mikes in time for the opening.......
  • we did the preview on Wednesday night as the third session of a day spent with press photo-calls, finishing the tech and doing a dress rehearsal. Very little time between dress and preview, so my notes had to be given by William running round the dressing rooms. Yesterday afternoon we had some real time, at last. We got to work the mikes, and to experiment with the vocal qualities of the space. I love sessions where I can work with the actors in the auditorium - giving them the sense of owning the whole theatre, rather than simply the stage.

First night was very exciting. A big house, with lots of guests in. Not enough critics, though the key one (Time Out) was there. Hopefully others will come on the back of it. Ruihong and I hosted a party afterwards, on behalf of the two companies. Ke Yasha was there from the Chinese Embassy, and was incredibly positive about the work. It looks as if going to China with this piece may be back on the cards.....

And now we must watch the reviews space!

No comments: