The final countdown – Day#1

This week we’re back rehearsing at Live Theatre for the first of three Vera Shrimp previews. These are script in hand, work in progress performances which kick off on Thursday.

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.