Alistair and Paul did a great job with the get in on Wednesday afternoon whilst the Tempest company ran their final rehearsals back on campus, which meant we were in perfect shape to tech this evening in the Great Hall.
The company have really come together now and we worked with great focus and efficiency in the limited time available to us. As night drew in and the room became lit by candles and torches we really began to feel the potential of the work.
Hester and Angelica,the children who live, with their parents, in the attic flats at the top of the house, came down to see what was going on and it was great to watch them fascinated by the shipwreck and enchanted by Ariel as he swooped in and out of the chandeliers. Acoustically, the hall is so supportive of the verse that the subtlest nuances are now carrying and filling out the story with ever more detail.
The company have been exemplary, punctual, polite and completely focused on the job of relocating, what, because of the visual nature of puppetry, is a complicated and precise show to run.
There's still much to do and we'll be all day tomorrow to make sure we've a real sense of ownership over both our material and the space, in order to be ready for the great imponderable, the audience; but we made excellent progress today.
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.