So, this is The Final Countdown (well hopefully not final, but a countdown. ‘The Final Countdown’ sounds more dramatic though) …
Here’s a brief rundown of Day 1:
- Walking down to the Quayside in the blazing sun it’s hard to imagine that last time we were at Live working on this show (R&D in March) it was snowing!
- Designer Imogen can’t be with us today but she has left a box of new shiny props – picking out each item, it’s like Christmas
- As we’re doing a table read through in the Writers Room, Michael brings us up a fan. We love Michael.
- We set to work blocking it all out. The week spent at Northern Stage in May really pays dividends as we’re whipping through the first half.
- We break for lunch and sit on the Quayside to eat it. It’s roasting out. Rosie comes back with sunburn stripes on her arms after just half an hour.
- We decamp to the Rehearsal Room as it’s available and, mercifully, much cooler.
- We put umbrellas up indoors which makes me slightly nervous but is unavoidable.
- We go back upstairs to the Writers Room for the final couple of hours of the day and nearly do ourselves a damage trying to shift the massive table out of the way.
- I have to eat a cornflake crispy cake in the play. In lieu of these, we use Wagon Wheels for now as there’s a packet with the props. I have four lines to eat it in. I don’t like Wagon Wheels, I consider them vile.
Rosie: “You look like you’re going to be sick.”
When we run it again, I have to eat another one. See, suffering for my craft here.
- I do my Scottish accent in front of Rosie (who is Scottish). It’s a tense moment for all involved.
- We pour water into the umbrellas to see if they can hold it. They can’t. We empty them out but when I put one up later the drops run down my back. I’m glad of it in the heat.
- We finish blocking and have a rough shape of the whole thing.
- Tomorrow we do character voices, mic work and details.
- Tomorrow we are one day closer.
- Tomorrow I go to Greggs and buy cornflake crispy cakes.