We spent the full day on the event site grabbing any opportunity to walk through, time and finalise the scenes in advance of tonight's tech. Being by the reservoir offered opportunities to flesh out some of the key moments and to really understand whether we'd done enough to tell the story visually.
Tina was everywhere, keen eyes looking at ways in we might use flashes of colour - be they on the tropical birds wings or through mass ranks of yellow processional flags - to guide the audience's focus across the space. Every addition, of course, brings fresh logistical problems and at times there was a tension between what I felt we could achieve and the desire to populate the space with banner carrying actors. Charo and Fernando have already been drafted in to lead the crucial process of removing the osprey head from the Belle and bringing it solemnly to land and we're simply down on numbers. Through patient negotiation and moments of rare compromise, however, we did make some progress.
Meanwhile in the near distance Kate, Anami and Stu worked steadily and diligently setting the huge osprey that will sit proudly on the spit in front of Normanton church. The opening chords of the music will wake him at the very start of the show, prompting him to flex his magnificent wings and twist his head to survey the Rutland sky. It's clearly painstaking work, but back on land we get an impending sense that something truely wonderful is taking shape.
At 4pm the children began to arrive. Not just the drummers and performers; but also 300 primary school children who were quickly marshaled into their choir positions. It soon became apparent that the focus of the tech would be musical and so in the end Fernando and I had to take our company to the other end of the site so that we could teach and run our sequences. The two hours flew by and I felt we were working dangerously fast and not giving the young performers any chance to consolidate the direction through repetition. The Drama St Mary's crew were magnificent, however, willingly taking on spade loads of responsibility, encouraging here, correcting there, always vigilant in checking who was grasping the work and who was struggling. By the time the parents came to do the pick up we had at least covered all the ground, even if we hadn't had an opportunity to secure the blocking. One more crack tomorrow night and then a troubling 48 hours before the first show.