There’s now less than a week until the war has not yet started opens in The Drum, and we’ve had a great time rehearsing down in TR2 and putting together all the jigsaw pieces of the show. We’ve run all the scenes together as one for the first time and it’s been fascinating to see them all link up and integrate the sound design into the show too.
We’ve also been rehearsing with some of the set for the first time and – without giving too much away – it makes an incredible difference. The nature of the set means that the cast can’t simply walk from one side of the stage to the other, and that using one exit or entrance creates a very different effect to using another. The cast have had to practically get to grips with performing scenes where one of them might be raised high over the others, or where moving closer to someone involves a demanding climb or a tricky descent.
The strangeness of the set, however, has brought a wonderful heightened tone to some scenes, complimenting the slightly off-kilter world of the script; it’s also producing some beautiful images and moving moments – family members who are painfully far apart, or lovers who stumble and struggle to find a sure footing as they convince someone why they’re meant to be together. It’s really interesting to work with a set that isn’t simply a literal presentation of a place (or places) but instead creates a feeling, an atmosphere – in this case, of a world at breaking point, of a place that might offer a little normality but is a struggle to actually live in.
Alongside getting to grips with the set, we’ve also been working on lots of little details of the show. Really, we’ve been knitting together the practical and creative sides of the performances, ensuring that everything that needs to happen (in terms of the props or costume needed for each new scene, or the precise staging necessary for a moment to really work) happens, but that it’s combined with the emotions of a scene, or the story being told in the play.
In a few days, we’ll finally be able to bring the show in front of an audience. Of course, we’ve got a lot of work between now and then – a tech week not just involving lighting and sound but projection and practical effects as well – but it’s exciting to think we’ll finally be able to draw people into the simultaneously dark and funny world of this show.
the war has not yet started opens in The Drum on Thursday 12th May and runs until Saturday 28th May. Tickets are available online or through our Box Office on 01752 267222.