Assistant Director on The Astronaut’s Chair, Bethany Pitts, has been burning the candle at both ends through the last week of rehearsals, claiming that cocktail making was ‘research’…
“Last Monday we arrived in the tranquil setting of TR2 for our final week of rehearsals. So over this last week Simon and the actors, and indeed the other creatives as they have joined us over the week, have been continually re-imagining and re-working elements of the play. The great, and exciting, thing about working on the premiere of a new work is that there is no set agenda and we are able to put our own stamp on it. Rona has been back in to see our work this week and is both delighted and surprised at how the work has come on. Having people come into the process again at this stage is immensely fruitful as they can shine a much more objective light on proceedings.
“The highlight of this last week though came outside of rehearsals, as on Wednesday we went for a cocktail making class at Plymouth Gin Distillery (Disclaimer: this was definitely work and not just a jolly – amongst many other things, we have to make cocktails in this play you know).
“As they took us through our cocktail shaking paces, it became apparent that there is quite a technique to making a decent cocktail. Twist too much lemon, crush too little ice and the alchemy is not quite right. In that way, it’s rather like making a play.
“All of a sudden, we are into tech week already and Bob Bailey’s set is twinkling (quite literally) down upon us all. Techs can be sweaty, stressful affairs but so far this one seems pretty calm. Adrienne is on some earth shattering sounds, Chahine is laid back behind the lighting desk and Stage Management are making sure everything runs smoothly. I can’t give much away of course, so rather than spoilers I thought I would offer up 5 reasons why you should definitely come and see this show:
1. It’s based on an incredible true story about some truly inspiring women who could, and probably should, have been the first women in space.
2. It’s got style in spades: from net skirts to hard liquor it is set a time when things were done stylishly or not at all. If the excesses of the 21st century existence is getting you down, then this is the perfect tonic.
3. It’s written by the ace Rona Munro, who is adept at turning the historical into gripping drama.
4. It doubles as a handy lesson on how to make the perfect Martini, should you ever need to.
5. It has a surprise musical theatre number – hang on to your hats, you won’t see it coming!
“Don’t just take my word for it though, come and witness the glamour and excitement for yourself!”