Somehow we've arrived in production week for The Tempest. I'm never quite sure how that happens.
We had a solid rehearsal last night and have cut the running time to 35 minutes - which isn't bad seeing as we've a shipwreck, love affair, liberation, several punishments and a reconciliation to get through.
I'm nervous about the limited time we have to tech the show into the house on Thursday afternoon and it's going to take a big effort from the students to adapt our work quickly against the many unknowns the site specific work throws up - exciting as well!
The puppets are beautiful and with each rehearsals the actors engage with them more -they really have a spirit of their own and the puppeteers in the group have had to explore and make friends with them gently and formally. It's quite touching to watch a head movement being manipulated or a look to the audience. It's subtle and focused work.
We are pushed for time and I've know doubt will have to evaluate every show to learn more and more about how a child audience engages - the learning curve over the next week is going to be very steep.
Mark is the Academic Director of the Drama Programmes at St Mary's University in Twickenham. He has worked internationally as a theatre director and educator for the past 15 years, focused mostly on youth, community, and conflict resolution work.
As a lecturer Mark taught at Goldsmiths College, Coventry University and was Head of Performing Arts at Canterbury College prior to joining St Mary’s in 2006.
His Professional directing credits include Henry V (One of US?) and Valhalla for RSC Education; The Wind in the Willows, Jack Cade, The Red, Red Robin for Sevenoaks Playhouse; Tender Souls, The Quality of Mercy and Playhouse Creatures for the Ambassadors Theatre group.
Mark is a director of subVERSE Theatre company for whom has directed fringe premieres of Chief, Dinnertime and OxfamC**t at Theatre 503.
Site specific work includes Purka and Shadow on Icelandic volcanoes and Novocento with students from the University of Genoa.