While we were performing our rehearsed readings, we had not properly thought about blocking and as our performances are next month, it is something we need to start on. Therefore, the purpose of our morning session with Erica was to start blocking with Erica directing the piece. The aim would be to get at least half of the blocking completed, putting factors such as when and how we would move the flats in.
As we were blocking, there were changes made for certain lines of the script which would ensure the plot made more sense and can also allow time for certain characters to get changed. There were changes made in the first scene with Olivia and her mum as some of the speech didn’t make sense. For example, my first line is asking Olivia how her day at school, then sending her to bed, giving the indication that they haven’t spoken since she got home. We have now changed the line to “Tell me more about your day at school”.
While there were changes being made to the script, it made me realise that there were some aspects of the script that we never thought properly about. For example, props, one of Olivia’s lines involve asking if she can go on her iPad, however, that would involve then getting an iPad for the performance and trying to get that on stage. To resolve this, we have changed Olivia’s line to ask her if she can get an iPad, but my character refuses.
Other problems that were brought up was the lack of time some would have to change before the next scene. For example, there is no gap for Lou to change from a her pyjamas into a school uniform. As Jack goes on first as Peter Pan for the prologue, we solved the issue between scene 2 and 3 by having Peter Pan going back on stage to speak to the audience to have more interaction. As well as that, we can also fill in a plot hole which we discovered: there is no explanation why Olivia was chosen to fight the wolf. Although this hasn’t been written into the script, the basic explanation currently for this is that the wolf was gaining power and help was needed. Olivia is a child who was starting to back away from stories, therefore, she was chosen to help with the hope that she can re-discover her love for reading.
Another similar issue occurs between the 7th and 8th scene where James leaves the stage as a bear, but straight away, has to re-appear as the wolf. Instead of having Peter Pan on stage again, we have decided that Lou will stay on stage to recap her adventures so far. She will express her confusion that when she solved the first mystery, Peter Pan appeared, but this time, the mother bear didn’t. This can then be built up to say that because of this, the wolf is getting stronger.
A challenge for me as the mother is to really believe in my character and her strong beliefs of why reading so great. I need to also believe that and have that belief as I am speaking my lines because if I don’t believe that as the character saying those lines, I will struggle to convince the audience.
In conclusion, we were able to get most of the performance blocked in this morning’s session, which has given us greater confidence in the piece as we now have a stable structure. We have also been able to solve problems that we faced to ensure the piece can run smoothly and make sense. One thing we need to work on before we continue working on the piece is the ending. We have changed the final scene so Olivia is no longer at school at the end, instead she goes back to her bedroom. We need to try to re-write the ending to ensure we can really get the message about reading across in order to meet the learning objective.
Here is part of our rehearsal: