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May 11, 2008
Learning to waltz before we can run
For me, last Saturday was the first point that the play came together. Up until this point the cast had been separated into two sections; 1809 and 1993. Suffice to say, a notable level of friendly rivalry arose, as both groups were adamant that their section of the play was better, and more professional than the other. However, it was on this particular Saturday that the entire cast was granted the opportunity to watch and contribute to a run-through of the entire performance. The 1809 cast sat in awe of the 1993 cast’s incredibly complex and expertly textured dialogue, whilst the 1993 cast immersed themselves in the 1809 cast’s light-hearted portrayal of the original inhabitants of Sidley park, and the trials and tribulations they experience.
As well as this mammoth run-through, Thomasin, Fiona, Rob and I were all invited to an hour-long waltzing lesson with Russell Jones. We were quickly separated into pairs, and began to persevere through trodden toes and unintentional manhandling. This was not only the first time that I’d had to learn a dance for a production, but also the first time that I’d ever had to learn a dance that wasn’t “the robot”. Yet, my fellow cast members surprised me with their tenacity and eagerness to learn; all four of us agreeing that the waltz was something that we could take away from the play, and no doubt use in the future.
All in all, it was an incredibly productive day. The walk home from rehearsals had become a waltz home, and the stakes had been raised even higher between 1809 and 1993.
Matt Stokoe plays Septimus Hodge
Take a look at the photos from this rehearsal »