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Get a backstage insight into creating a show from scratch. Rose Bruford students, who make up the cast and crew of the devised show COLOUR, at Half Moon from Wed 5 to Tue 11 March, have been writing rehearsal blogs, which can be found below.
Tell us what you think – join in the conversation and tweet with us #HMTColour @HalfMoonTheatre
Colour Blog 5: The show opens. By Sara Lessore (cast member & Rose Bruford student)
Hiya readers, I’m Sara! I’m a second year Actor Musician working on Colour along-side Joe, Mark, Stephanie, Paddy, and the rest of the Rose Bruford clan.
WOW!! What can I say?! Today we was our first ever show and what a show it was!
We have come so far in the past three weeks, I don’t even know where to begin! As you know we’ve built this whole play from scratch from every word said to every music note played. It has been an absolutely thrilling experience and for me, personally, an insight to the career path I would like to choose in the future.
Sara Lessore, in rehearsals for Colour.
Our first show was yesterday morning (5 March), to a crowd of 30-odd school children aged between 7 and 8, the youngest side of the age range. It was such a thrill! I felt a rush of excitement as the kids came in and took their seats. Their faces as excited and curious as ours. This being our opening show, neither actor nor spectator knew what the next hour would bring. Despite the ever-so-slightly nervous start the show really picked up as we eased our way into each scene. You feel the increasing energy was making an impact and from the small wide eyed faces around us, I could tell it wasn’t just us on stage who were enjoying ourselves!
Sara Lessore. 6.03.14
Colour Blog 4: The beginning of the end of rehearsals. By Joe Phelps (Rose Bruford student & Colour cast member)
Hello! My name is Joe and I’m a second year actor working on Half Moon Theatre’s production of Colour. We are now at the beginning of the end! This is our last week of rehearsals before the show begins next Wednesday. So we’ve been busy tightening and refining the scenes and music we have already created.
The end of a devising process like this I always find the most difficult. At the start you are constantly creating and new ideas are always welcome and explored. At this stage, whilst new ideas are still possible, the focus is on the small details and clarity of the material we already have. Although this is rewarding and you start to see the shape of the show you are creating, sometimes being harsh and cutting material you have created and crafted can be tough.
Joe Phelps (far left, in rehearsal)
But at the end of day 12 we have a show! The music is all in place and we have a fantastic range of instruments; I’m even getting a chance to play some violin and guitar! Some of the scenes are very touching and the kind of work I never thought we’d be creating during the first week. Whilst others are hilarious and still make me laugh as much as they did when I first saw them.
The prior to the show the subject of colour really excited me and working on it and exploring it as a stimulus has been fascinating. We have been working a lot with movement and music rather than words, and when we started using colour as an influence, our small pieces started to have real depth. I think this is because we all have our own individual associations with colours that conjure different memories and feelings. So creating this show has been a very personal experience and I think watching it will be one too. You may see a different side to your favourite colour or find a memory in another that you never knew about!
I hope to see you at the shows! And check back later this week for our next rehearsal blog!
Joe Phelps, 25.02.14
Join in the conversation at #HMTColour
Colour: Rehearsals at the end of Week 2
Mark Mumm (cast member, and Rose Bruford student)
Tomorrow will mark the end of our second week devising Colour. So far, the process has been absolutely wonderful. I am very fortunate to be working with such a passionate director as Chris Elwell and such talented students as my fellow Brufordians (If this isn’t a term, I’m coining it now).
As of the end of rehearsal today, we have finally planned out every one of our scenes. The next step is coordinating all the music and transitions into the piece and ultimately fine-tuning all of it.
My role in the piece is hard to define. I’ve got my fingers in a number of pies: acting, writing poetry, writing lyrics, performing music. I’m very grateful to have been given the opportunity to stretch my poetry muscles.
Mark Mumm, pictured in rehearsals.
This sort of diversity is what I love about this piece. While some students are self-proclaimed musicians and others self-proclaimed actors, as a whole, the group is exploring all of our talents and stretching ourselves.
My favorite piece that we have created so far is without a doubt the sea shanty and boat scene for the color blue. The scene has a wide range. It has a lot of heart to it. Meanwhile the music is an absolute blast, sure to get the audience laughing and their hearts beating.
I think Colour will certainly be something special that us students can be proud of. Without a doubt, I think Colour will be vastly enjoyed by audiences of young and old persons alike. Don’t miss it!
Colour: Week 2 rehearsals.
Stephanie Rutherford (cast member, and Rose Bruford student)
Hey! I’m Stephanie, an actor musician from Rose Bruford rehearsing ‘Colour’. We are now one week and a day into our process, however it feels like we have been at Half Moon so much longer (in a good way!).
After spending the first few days devising and playing around with ideas produced from mainly physical stimuli, we have now chopped down our many ideas into 9 scenes for the play. Without trying, somehow we have weirdly ended up with the scenes based on primary colours: Red, Yellow and Blue. A strange coincidence!
We have been spending a lot of time on music, as nearly the whole piece will be underscored. On Friday we composed a sea shanty, which got stuck on repeat in my head for a good 24 hours, and today we creating a vocal piece using a soundscape as the basis. I have also been dancing and prancing around multitasking acting whilst playing trombone in a scene with Zaqi today. It has been an interesting co-ordination tester… I find it lovely that the actors are so keen to be involved with the music making and playing, and it really adds to our ensemble dynamic.
Tomorrow we will be starting back at the very top of the play and working through it step by step with precision and detail.
That’s pretty much all for now, so keep checking back for an entry from your next blogger!
Stephanie Rutherford, in rehearsals for COLOUR at Half Moon Theatre
Colour: Week 1 rehearsals.
Paddy Daly (cast member, and Rose Bruford student)
My experience working with Half Moon Theatre Company so far has been extremely insightful and explorative. In my past experience, I have found devising theatre can be quite strenuous & stressful; pressure builds quickly and the cast, director and technical team can be left feeling deflated and unmotivated. However, Chris Elwell has done a brilliant job of directing the process so far, using a variety of techniques & games to create ideas, themes and narratives. Over the past few days, we have been expanding on these ideas, and are now beginning to develop them into a series of scenes, each giving the audience an insight into the world of colour.
Colour in rehearsals. Paddy Daly, far right.
The piece so far is beginning to look at a child’s perception of colour and how each colour can make them think & feel. One of the things we have managed to do in our first week is to visit a local school to see how children responded to colour. By playing through workshops with the children, we managed to gage a view of how they perceive colour, feeding using with lots of ideas in the rehearsal room. A few days in, and we are already beginning to build a strong structure to the work, and the direction in which it’s going. Even very simple exercises such as playing around with paper has led to us create elements of the piece.. So far it is exploring the themes such as growing up, fear of failure, bravery, family, and media pressures: all very resonate with the children of our generation. By using of a combination of music, movement and story-telling, we aim to provoke children to think about the colours in world around them. Despite being early on in the devising process, I feel positive about the piece, and feel very enthusiastic about the weeks to come.