As decided during the group meeting we had on Monday 8th May, we agreed to have a dress run the week after the stumble run (12th May), we have been able to stick to schedule and prepared for our dress run of Saints and Sinners this morning. The results of the stumble run last Friday led to changes in the links of the script, which were made by Lynn, Jack and Emma. This is because the links between the acts were weak, as they did not maintain the Saints and Sinners theme throughout. Therefore, we all got a new version of the script to use for this run:
My aim for this stumble run is to be aware of the changes so that there is nothing the surprises me in any future run through. As this is a dress run, I will be performing Shopping and F***ing in the dress that I had posted in my reflective journal on the 8th May. Therefore, I can also get an opinion from the tutors when I get up to perform as Ruby. However, I will not be able to do Saint Joan in my costume as after speaking to Alex, we have both been unable to find anything, so this will be priority on Monday, which I will also put in next week’s action plan.
After reading the new script, I now feel more confident that the theme we have been given has stayed throughout, which was made possible by speech from Jimmy. These link changes affected me as there was more of an introduction and background added to Saint Joan, describing her as a ‘freedom fighter’, which perfectly fits into the context of Saint Joan and the monologue. However, after the run today, Lynn mentioned about adapting the introduction again to make it more detailed, this is to really grab the attention, especially as there was an long acting scene just before with Talking to Terrorists. The link that Jimmy also has in act 2 before Shopping and F***ing adds more into Ruby’s personality which will help the audience help, this is from the new nickname Jimmy gives her: “Skanky, lanky streak of confusion”, which also shows Jimmy’s opinion towards her.
Although we were unable to have a dress run in the theatre, we ran the show in the dance studio with the bar, which I saw for the first time today. Having the bar really created that club atmosphere and I really liked having the logo in the middle, the logo is the same that we have used to market the show. That logo now really represents the show, so it would only be right to have that logo in the bar.
This dress run was a good opportunity for cast members to figure out their positioning on stage and when to either enter or exit. As I am an act for Saint Joan, I enter to the stage, perform then leave, but a problem I had to solve was when I exit as Ruby so I can change to Saint Joan. During this run, I left after the ex-confrontation dance, which did not cause any issues or disruption. This rehearsal showed that there is a large danger of having my back to the audience when sitting at the bar, which over my two years here have been warned to never do, so I need to be aware of my surroundings. We have decided that the back stage right exit will be toilets, therefore I will leave to go to the toilet and get changed for Saint Joan. However, I next enter as Ruby during act 2 after getting beaten up, but this has not happened yet in the act 1 link scene. Therefore, I have decided after the run that I will exit through the club ‘entrance/exit’ door instead of going to the toilet. I don’t have this issue as Ruby in act 2 as Jimmy orders my character to leave.
For everyone else, it seemed that everyone now knows their exits and entrances, but for those on stage there was still a slight issue with where to look when it came to pieces. There were some pieces that are isolated so its just the characters involved, for example, I did not focus on the ex-confrontation dance as the dance was not actually happening in the club, just between Zoe and Faye. However, Saint Joan is an act, therefore, I can perform to everyone as even those on stage will be focused on my act. We spoke about which pieces people should not be looking at when it came to that, therefore, this issue should not happen next week.
In terms of my performance in this run, I did not perform to my full strengths, a couple of days before I had hurt my foot, therefore, I was limping every time I got up during this run. I stand still for Saint Joan, therefore, I did not have any trouble with performing the monologue. I was able to fully concentrate on performing that monologue, but for Shopping and F***ing, I learned that in order to play Ruby in the way I want to, I need to fully concentrate and commit to the character. There were some issues with the script, I think that because as that was only the second time we performed it in a larger space and the first time with the set, we got really into the scene, but because the pace was quick, we forgot some parts. A part in particular that we forgot was the argument towards the end just before my monologue about money not being important. In order to improve, I will meet with Sian to go over the scene before next Wednesday and look over the script in my free time.
Because of this dress run, we were able to look more into our positions for ‘Rebel’, we very briefly blocked it in a rehearsal previously, but now that we know the stage, we can look more into it. We have decided to keep the action of moving after the first chorus so that those at the back get a chance to be at the front. But this affected me as it was decided that the waitresses will separate themselves, leaving Ruby isolated, but we thought that because of the troubles Ruby has gone through, that she would be isolated anyway. Therefore, I will move to the back, later deciding that I will go onto Jimmy’s platform, which I think works as Jimmy hates Ruby, but because of Ruby’s character, she would do it to rebel.
In terms of other performances, because everyone was around the stage, although I got the club atmosphere on stage with help of the bar, off stage I didn’t get the same atmosphere. I think that this is because everyone is off stage or getting ready at the side, therefore, this will be easily solved when we are in the theatre next week. The links meant that Jimmy was able to be on stage more, so I now think that his power is more definite, the longer speeches mean that he can dominate them and capture the audience so they know who is in charge. Character wise, I can see Jack coming along well with Jimmy, I still think that he can go further with his voice and movements, owning the stage a lot more and being more powerful with his voice.
A group of characters who I feel can still go further are the posh boys, they are the sinners of the club who stay on throughout, therefore their character cannot drop. By being flirty and rude, it will keep the audience aware of just how horrible they are. They can do this by being disruptive, taking advantage of the characters high status with their voice and actions. There are also performances which I still haven’t seen yet, such as Vicky’s Swan Dance, but as no one else appeared concerned at this, I was confident that although she was not there, Vicky knew the dance and would be able to perform with little issues.
While watching it through, the links and the addition of the marking of where the stage will be helped distinguish which were acts and which pieces were not, with the exception of the dancers who will definitely not have enough space on the stage. Despite this, Jimmy introduces them as a club act, meanwhile, the other characters on stage watching them will make it easy for the audience to know that it is a cabaret act.
Links to Dress Run
Ruby (Act 1): Marked to start at 2:40
Saint Joan (Act 1): Marked to start at 0:45
Ruby (Act 2): Marked to start at 2:10
We received feedback after the dress run, after running through Shopping and F***ing, we are now going to try playing the scene sitting on the edge of the acts stage. This would make sense as although we have rehearsed it at the bar, we found out today that Jimmy, who wants Ruby out, will be at the bar and because this is a secret conversation, Lulu will not want Jimmy to hear anything. This is because this is a side of Lulu which she does not want Jimmy to see. I also need to work on making Ruby’s voice more skanky, which is needed as that is now part of her nickname.
Overall, I am concerned about the show due to not being completely focused on it this week. All of this week has been dedicated to Bonnie and Clyde, which going into show week next week is not good. This run still helped see how we needed to improve, such as where to look on stage when someone is performing, whether they are an act, speaking in the club, or it is in the character’s heads. We have also decided to make the introduction to Saint Joan longer to put more context into her character because she is so different, also because she is such a passionate character and the speech comes after a long scene in Talking to Terrorists. Personally, I need to look more at the script for Shopping and F***ing, make a final decision on my exit for Ruby in act 1 and concentrate fully. Even if I am still injured next week, I will have to still go and perform, so if this issue continues, I must learn to get it out of my head and go for the characters during the runs.