Please Don't TellDate: 29 July 2010
Let’s start with a riddle: what has a vat of enthusiasm, an ounce of trepidation and a whole of host of guidelines … ?
Answer: me writing this blog.
I think my producer (the on-it-like-a-pocket-rocket Amy Letman) had a mini-seizure when I told her I was writing this. Don’t get me wrong she was more than happy for me to have somewhere other than the rehearsal room to spew my ramblings. But I think the idea of regularly documenting a show like Threshold which prides itself on being kept secret, seemed more than a little perverse to her. So hence the guidelines (and my trepidation) – I have been specifically told what I can and cannot reveal about this theatrical experience.
Supposedly I can mention the bus that takes the audience out of the city to a secret location, the fact that it’s loosely based on the story of Bluebeard and there are bucket-loads of keys. But I’m definitely not allowed to tell you about the elephant ride when you get there, the naked dancing girls or the 3D glasses as that would definitely spoil the experience. Oops. Ah well… who reads blogs anyway? Besides, I think it pretty much goes without saying that you can’t tell the story of Bluebeard without a bit of safari burlesque in more than two dimensions – so I’m not allowed to be chastised for that.
Over the past few weeks rehearsing at the Jerwood Space has been a little bit like Edinburgh Festival in miniature as all the rehearsal rooms are filled with the mad-cap shows that are en route (in our case via minibus) to the Scottish capital. But at times it’s been quite a surreal experience rehearsing a site-specific production in the very comfortable air-conditioned rooms of SE1, becoming quite accustomed to using window sills as yew trees and table tops as terrace ledges. I think it might be in for quite a shock when I turn up to our undisclosed location and realise a window sill is about as good a substitute for a yew tree as Tesco’s own brand is for Kellogg’s Frosties!
But with only five more days in the Jerwood until we rehearse in situ, I’m going to try and lap up all the comfort I can get. With opening night on the 9th looming and not really knowing how it’s going to come together until we have an audience, it’s a little daunting. But the modicum of fear on our behalf is probably just the right amount for a company who hopes to give their audience the most unique theatrical experience of the festival.
So, until next time when I’ll be letting you know how our elephant fares on Hampstead Heath for our first outdoor rehearsal…
Cross the Threshold; the hunt begins here
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