The Hour... - Blog 3 (Heather)

The Hour... Blog - Heather Pilkington, Performer

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This is my first production with the People’s Company and if this experience is anything to go by I hope it’s not my last.

The rehearsals before Christmas were a great introduction to building the ensemble’s rapport. It’s a large cast so it was important that we spent some time getting to know each other. We would start these rehearsals playing lots of games which were about finding our rhythm as a company and listening to each other.

With the 450+ characters in the play we have our work cut out to make each of our characters distinctive and individual. So we took the opportunity to hit the streets of Plymouth and do some people watching. We spent a couple of hours observing the way people walk; how they interact with each other and the space; the pace of how they move; what they do with their hands and so on. What I discovered was how distinct and different we all are, and how a subtle shift in how you hold your head for example can tell a whole different story. This was an invaluable research exercise and I definitely have taken what I observed into the rehearsal room.

When we returned to the rehearsal room we went through the task of casting the play. This was no mean feat and involved a fair amount of patience and concentration. However, Jen led the process in such an interesting way and what we were actually doing was running the whole play from top to bottom. I am thrilled with the wide variety of characters I have the challenge of playing, from a wrestler, to a rich old aunt and even Chaplin.

Running from Wednesday 5th to Saturday 8th February, tickets are £9.70 with concessions at £5.70 (inclusive of 70p per ticket booking fee) and are available to book online at www.theatreroyal.com/hour or through our Box Office on 01752 267222.

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