Friday, 17 June 2011

Osprey Training.

More guests arrive in Rutland. Antonio and Charo, two trainee theatre directors from Madrid arrived to assist the work. They're very bright, positive and full of ideas.

We spent much of the morning sketching out possible entrances and exits and walking through some timings. The central protagonist of the whole show is really the music and our staging has to be precise in order to run to the timings Nick's created in the score. Essentially we have about twenty minutes of action to cover, representing the Osprey's arrival in, firstly Senegal, and then, on his return, in Asturias, before reconnecting the head onto the body of the boat which will set off again around the back of Normanton church pulling the audience's focus onto and reanimating the giant Osprey structure that Kate and Anami have now begun to turn their attention to. We've got the tropical birds to play with for the first section; Kaspar's horse, metres of blue silk and about forty Asturian fishing boat hats for the second.

The problem with precise planning is not knowing quite the number of participants. Everybody has signed up, but until we arrive at the tech next Wednesday we're all unsure as to whether we'll have enough to manage all of the different elements. There's also no crew on the show, so guarding, clearing and setting props, costumes and puppets all needs to be built into our thoughts at this stage.

This evening a reception, surrounded by horseshoes, in Rutland castle to mark the opening of the festival and to welcome the company. It was a low key affair, some wine and nibbles - lovingly themed only in Rutland's traditional colours of green and orange.

Local MP Alan Duncan, carrying a Union Jack umbrella, paid a fleeting visit, the festival's organiser made an impassioned appeal to raise an audience and finally the High Sheriff of the county, replete in knickerbockers and ceremonial sword, made a short speech in which he reminded the Spaniards that one of his duties was to muster men to repel invading armies and that one of his predecessors had done exactly that to prepare for the Armada. Fortunately the Asturians saw the funny side and politely laughed along.

So the first week draws to a close. There's still a slight feeling that we're groping around in the dark and I guess it won't be until the middle of next week that we'll really begin to see whether our ideas and creations have worked. For tonight we were happy to relax with a glass, a couple of speared gherkins and a bowl of cheesy wotsits.


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