So, it’s happening. We’ve dusted the costumes, shaken off the post-fringe hangovers and taken a surgical knife to the script. The Death of Ivan Ilyich is going to the Camden Fringe next week. It’s the first time we’ve toured a show in a little while, and we’re very excited.
Problems we’re facing
The venue is different.
As a resident company at The Rialto, a lot of our work is made with a specific stage in mind. It’s size and shape, it’s exits and entrances: they’re all different this time. Not massively, but enough. It’s not just a simple case of changing the sides around, it becomes a rebuilding of the world in the new space.
The cast are different.
Sadly, we had to recast three actors for this time. We had a wonderful cast last time, but the three new actors coming in are equally as skilled and brilliant. For us, there is an importance in allowing them to find their own interpretations and their own characters, not just us asking for imitations. With a limited rehearsal period, this often relies upon making strong initial choices and relying on some gut instincts.
The Script is different.
There are two reasons for this. Firstly, our run time is ten minutes shorter. It’s not just a case of hacking ten minutes out from ‘fat’, it’s a restructuring process. To just hack lines out changes beats, characters and the way an audience see the play, so again it’s about a rebuilding. Secondly, if we take the Brighton Fringe as the play’s first draft, this will be it’s second. It’s a development, it’s making it better (it’s eradicating the 11:55pm typos).
A company of seven fairly local actors rehearsing in Brighton/ Hove, taking work to a theatre in Brighton. Not the most difficult. Now we’re going to London. It’s a fairly big show for a Fringe setting with a lot of props, some bulky set and the storage space of a postage stamp. It’s going to be tough, and we’re asking a lot, having to do big get outs after every show. The logistics of work like this are often the most over-looked. The choreography may be intricate, but the storing will be alright on the night sort of vibe. This week, more than anything, spreadsheets will be forming and lists about lists made.
With all that in mind, for us at least, the chance to get to play with this beautiful show again, the chance to get it closer to ’right’ and to work with some top chaps again certainly makes it all rather worthwhile!