It's a very different show in Hackney. We're inside for one thing and the space is, of course, much more contained. With this new intimacy comes a need for a greater precision. The booming rhetoric of Ham is replaced by a softer tone and subtler delivery.
We took our time preparing each of the four rooms we're going to use in order. Sub-teams followed strict instructions on handling the house's furniture whilst Stu and Paul carefully rigged the lights on stands. Floors are particularly fragile here, and for a while the uneven surface of the cellar, where some of The Wife of Bath will be performed, looked to derail our staging. Tina though magically found away of carpeting sections with brick patterned canvass, which proved just about acceptable to the house's custodians.
In performance here the audience will be split into three groups and carousel round the stories in turn, returning to the courtyard in between times for the whole company work. Logistically it's problematic as The Wife of Bath is two minutes shorter than The Miller's Tale, which in turn is two minutes shorter than The Knight's Tale - but with some staged delays and confusions we're finding ways to approximately get the whole audience back into the courtyard simultaneously so that the show keeps moving.
For all the attention and care needed to make the piece work in such a precious environment, the company stayed light and playful, finding new exits and entrances, appearing from windows, side rooms and from under tables.
Van loaded we were out and on the Silverlink back to Richmond by 10.30pm.