Work on The Canterbury Tales is beginning, after a slow start, to gather momentum. We've now confirmed the venues and times and routes around the properties. Monday afternoon was spent up in Hackney with the liaison team finalising the Sutton House show and seeing exactly how we can adapt the rehearsal room work into the site itself. Logistically there are many questions to ask and it still feels as if we are inching forward towards the show rather than making leaps and bounds.
The fundraising team have been doing brilliant work and raised nearly £1,000 to supplement our production budget. Their biggest initiative is the SIMMathon which will take place Friday week, and coincide with the elections for the Student Union executive. 104 runners from every sector of the St Mary's - students, academics, security, caterers, support, senior management etc. will each run a lap of the track. Together they'll complete a marathon - we hope in under three and a half hours. It should be a fantastic chance for the University to come together as a community in itself, raise some money and, if we're honest, have a bit of a laugh.
Whilst this has been going on the designers have made great progress with the costumes and are beginning now to tackle some of the technical problems of doing the show in two contrasting venues. How do we create visual effects that will work both in the intimate chamber settings of Sutton, and the gorgeous open garden spaces of Ham?
Rehearsals are also beginning to take shape. The plan has been to get a rough and ready sketch of each of the tales and then try and refine them in more detail for the venues. A small team of students are engaged with rewrites to make each show absolutely specific to its venue. It's taken some time for the cast to trust the playful, bold and unapologetic way in which we they need to perform, but there are signs of breakthroughs, of abandonment and of genuinely confidence in the material. It's beginning to get exciting!