The Winterfood Diaries

The Winterfood Diaries

Thursday, 23 November 1989

Mansfield Technical Run



MP TECHNICAL DRESS RUN NOTES

1. INTRO

Beginning may change in order to make the play more ‘circular’.

Will Daniels/Thomas Bertram still far too naturalistic – looks uncomfortable – Donna Davidson/Lady Bertram must stop swinging hips – looks nervous.

Kat Hill/Norris cannot scratch her nose (unconsciously) mid-scene.  Jolene/Fanny and Will (and others) all constantly looking at me whilst acting, as if hoping for my approval.

Stage shape looks messy.

Kat Hill needs to project more.

Seems very dead – inactive, doesn’t grab us like it should.  Needs more pace.  Far too naturalistic.

2. SOUTHERTON

Too quiet.  Everyone needs better projection.  Far too slow, lacking in pace.  Must see Jonny’s face.  Jolene/Fanny and Kat/Norris have got to give so much more to this scene.

3. GARDEN FIGHT

Lines must be learned!

Better projection needed; there’s a total lack of concentration.  No pace – very dead.

Bad transitions from one tableau to another.

No pain on Jolene/Fanny’s face as she is pulled – why?!

4. GARDEN SCENE

Johnny/Henry’s physicality is not ‘hideous’ enough.

Too much naturalism. Lacking in energy, needs more pace.

5. RUSHWORTH + FANNY AT GATE

Really need to work on this as soon as Darren returns from his holiday in the USA.

6. CEREMONY/RITUAL SEQUENCE

Movement within the blackout needs to be faster and more slick.

Louder!

This needs to be seriously de-naturalised and given more pace and energy.

Why did Mary not communicate with Maria to challenge Norris?

So slow.  Not good enough.

Badly executed.  Bad projection, and voices generally are laden with actors’ own accents – and they all mumble and tail off at the end of each sentence. 

LINES MUST BE LEARNED!

Ken/Edmund needs to remember his blocking.

Going to change a few bits of this to something better, I hope.

7. CHAPTER 13

Dead – no energy.

Donna/Lady Bertram must not snore too loudly.

When Darren gets back he needs to amend the Prompt Copy book.

Ken must learn his lines!

8. CHAPTER 14

Far too static.  More pace required.

Actors really need to stop looking at things going on off-stage.

Actors must plan ahead and be prepared.

Why does Kat keep hitching up her skirt?

Huge chunks of dialogue are being skipped.

9. NEXT DAY

Needs a lot of work.

In the ‘performing’ sequence, we could gain a few laughs by ‘hamming’ it.  It could also be used as a means of Henry’s and Maria’s flirting and ‘showing off’.  I liked the ‘head drop’ – must make more of that.

Norris should be ferretting about for information about Henry (from Mary).  Mary must naively tell Norris all she knows.  Norris must show us she is prying and use her face far more.

10. A FEW DAYS LATER

If Jolene/Fanny is to be so infuriated – initially – about the acting, then we must see the growth of her anguish.

Perhaps Norris will not exit.

Will/Bertram must show more strength.

Jodie/Maria must enter in a far more ‘de-naturalised’ manner.  We CANNOT keep that old ‘backing into someone’ gag – unless it is made into something much cleverer.

Sir Thomas must be far fiercer and much more ‘upright’.  He must seem imposing and a little frightening up on his return.  He currently looks rather uncertain and uncomfortable.

Mary and Henry need to be more passionate, more emotional.

The actors must respect each other’s space on stage – without being obvious about it, too.

This needs a great deal more work.

Later:

‘Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves’ – Cher


Today, MP turned out to be very dodgy.

Things with Gemma are still pretty bad too.

DOCTOR WHO: SURVIVAL, episode 1 is bloody good!  I am surprised.  


It was absolutely chuffing skill.  I hope it continues to be.  SEASON 26 is set to be my personal favourite.


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Next time: ‘Weight of the world…’

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