Sunday, February 13, 2011

Rehearsal as refuge

I have spent the entire weekend doing accounts. And I mean the entire weekend. From 9am to 9pm Saturday and from 9am to 7pm today, with brief meal breaks and a quick trip to Tescos. This was not what attracted me to the theatre as a career. Last weekend was very similar, and next weekend promises to be even worse.

In my spare time, I am directing Howard Barker's The Europeans for Rose Bruford. It's a final-year production, so the actors and team are trained and ready for the profession, which means the quality of their work is very high. It feels like a holiday to go into the rehearsal room with them - though this is meant to be the real work. Bizarre.

On the train down to Sidcup on Friday, I had a long chat about this with Iain Reekie, the Head of Acting. He said he felt much the same, rehearsing another of the shows. For him, the tension is around the fact that the future of higher education generally, and drama schools in particular, is so uncertain right now. He, and the other Bruford staff, are all caught up in a web of politics and finance like the one that's dogging me. And, like me, he finds the rehearsal room to be a refuge. A safe haven in a storm.

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