Its been a while since I blogged about the play, mainly because I have been busy directing it and preparing the improv course which kicked off last week. Things have been busy in our virtual hospital!
As you can see from above, we now have a poster. The poster was designed once again by Grainne O’Sullivan, whose unique style is embedded in all of her work. Once you have your poster, in many ways things start to feel real. You have in print, the date you are aiming toward. There’s no going back!
I was delighted when esteemed No Drama member Patrick O’Callaghan offered his services with the set. Aside from being a fantastic actor (having starred in many of our productions), Patrick is a talented graphic designer and artist. It is very reassuring having him on board. He only really had 2 questions for me. “What is your vision?” and “whats the split with reality and arty?” With my answers in tow, he went off to his design lair and came back with I would consider a ‘better-than-I-could-have-possibly-imagined’ set design.
The actors have being embracing their characters nicely. I like to impose an earlier than expected script ban, which much to the rhubarb rhubarb of the actors, allows me to get stuck into the finer detail of directing sooner. Not to mention gently encourage them to learn their lines sooner! Each actor brings a uniqueness to their character that no other actor obviously can and its my job to ensure that the chemistry between the actor and character is correct so that the chemistry between character and character is perfect.
I’m also quite fortunate to have people from the medical profession involved in the production both in the cast and crew. It has allowed for a more accurate portrayal of the characters and the environment they are in. From Brian becoming to dab hand at adminstering injections, to Saskia and Ellen becoming experts at muscle manipulation, I’m sure we’d get a few exemptions from medical school!
With every project comes challenges and obstacles. I start a production with a list in my head of obstacles to be removed, boxes to be ticked. Fortunately for me, the commitment of the cast and crew has eliminated many of those challenges in recent weeks. As a result my blood pressure has reduced and the colour returned to my face. That being said, there is one ongoing enormous challenge in PR and publicity. This will be the largest capacity venue to date that No Drama Theatre have utilized. (If we exclude of course Electric Picnic and Body & Soul Festival; we did have a helping hand there!) We will be pulling many PR exercises and publicity stunts out of the hat for this one! (More on this to follow over the coming weeks!)
We have 6 weeks to go before curtains. Its an exciting time for us. We’re not far off having blocked and locked! From then, it will be run through after run through until it becomes a natural rhythm!