Climbing Arthur’s Seat: The sneaky peek

Our preview is imminent. Like, really imminent. As in, one week.

A preview is something that most companies taking shows to the Fringe will be doing. It’s the first time to try what you have out in front of an audience, and an excellent way to gain some (mainly) insightful and objective feedback. It’s also a great way of spotting what is Olivier-worthy and what you wouldn’t subject your deaf and blind dog to. I know that both Theatre 503 and the Tristan Bates theatre are doing mini-seasons of previews. We are performing at the fantastic Trinity Theatre in Tunbridge Wells. Our ever-wonderful producer is an employee of this establishment and they have done us the favour of letting us perform in their 230 seater converted-from-a-church theatre, for free.

Now, I am going to talk about the show that you can all see next Saturday, but I would first like to provide an update of our current state of affairs. After all, we promised you both high and lows. Due to scheduling conflicts, Alex has had to pull out of the show, but he has been replaced by the lovely, if uncompromisingly sports mad Gareth Saunders. Wimbledon has become a consistent backing track to our rehearsals. None of our props have been found. Nor has most of our costume. We’re using commercial music because the soundtrack isn’t finished yet. Our set, though extremely minimal, is yet to be completed. Francesca has started jumping up and down…

Rehearsals, however, are going swimmingly – something that provides some much needed relief to our otherwise screaming brains. We have made quite some progress from our ostriches of a month ago, however, the biggest challenge remains the choreography. This is often mainly to do with its nature. Without giving too much away, this is certainly not a dance piece and no dancing takes place, nor is it a case of having a scene of dialogue and then a scene of physical theatre. The choreography is based far more upon day to day physicality writ large, and therefore it is less about being able to pirouette on demand and more about remembering on what line you perform a sequence that involves nodding, scratching your left ear and picking up a coffee cup in perfect unison. Not only that, but the blocking for all of this has to be learnt twice. Our venue at Zoo Southside in Edinburgh is thrust and will have a very special seating arrangement, whereas Trinity is a standard proscenium arch. In all fairness to the cast, they have attacked this challenge head on, though there have been threats of violence if asked to repeat a certain scene one more time.

Anyhow, the thing is, we’re really quite excited. Panicked, but excited. This is an open invitation to you all to come along on Saturday 14 July to the Trinity Theatre at 7pm. It’s only a half hour journey from Waterloo to Tonbridge. There will be a Q & A session straight after where we’d love to hear your thoughts and any constructive criticism. We’d also just like to say “hey”. Alternatively, just come along to see if we’ve managed to pull it all together in time.

Written by Chi-San Howard.

Image: Rush Theatre’s Gareth Saunders and Jacques Parker.

Find out more about Rush Theatre by visiting its Twitter page or website.