Thursday, 11 June 2009

an alfresco rehearsal

Les Augrès Manor

A rehearsal up at the Durrell site in the afternoon refreshed alfresco dynamics and challenges.

It was great to be reminded of the noise: waterfalls, aeroplanes, wind, babies, school children, engines, photographers, keepers-passing and the clanking of buckets.

The performance area, arena-d by three trees, has allowed for an intimate space to tell these six vignettes.

Rehearsing without the production elements, and with a vaguely curious audience, presented a challenge and the suppression of much laughter - barely contained at times - as the realisation of this 'ludicrous' project came to light.

But I think that Gerald Durrell would have come down from Les Augrès Manor and joined in!

And so we were delighted when Dr. Lee Durrell materialised having earlier presented the Environment Week awards at the Princess Royal Pavilion.

The opportunity to run three of the stories, with what we had so far, meant that adjustments and previously neglected elements, could be discussed, worked through, developed and progressed.

Performing alfresco is exhausting and reminded me of our community, promenade, open-air production of Peter Pan in the summer of 1997 at South Hill Park; Lord of the Flies at The Henley College that same year; and creating Narnia at Mont Orgueil in Jersey in 2006.

Alfresco is lunatic: either wet and windy or sweltering and sun-baked - but such great fun and so full of laughter.

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