Design For Living: Love Among The Artists
Torrential rains and howling winds accompanied our arrival in Salisbury this week. A drenched but enthusiastic start, the full company were reunited in a new home. Production Designer Alex Eales began the day by revealing the model box – every piece of our set and the locations of the action portrayed in miniature. In less than three weeks tiny sofas, a sweeping staircase, the New York skyline and stylish 1930s surroundings will be brought to life on the main stage.
With the sun miraculously streaming in by mid morning we began the major task of this second week – blocking the play scene by scene. The first time tackling the text on its feet was entirely welcome yet not always easy; pages of complex text must be assimilated, staging remembered and props negotiated, Time is limited, the pressure is on and nerves are in the air.
Mid-afternoon we broke rehearsals for a meet and greet where we were warmly welcomed by Salisbury Playhouse staff and taken on a tour of the building. An essential orientation and the perfect way to get a sense of the extensive networks already in place to make Design For Living a big success.
Without a doubt it’s been a challenging week. It’s full throttle on Design For Living, not only to rehearse the words of the play but to make sure that every department is where it needs to be and will deliver on time. Production meetings are in full attendance, props are being sourced and costumes feverishly made upstairs by the in house wardrobe department. Problems fly in from every angle, hastily followed by solutions from the experts. It’s a thrilling time and it’s only going to get bigger.
Luckily, in the face of adverse weather conditions neither fallen trees nor persistent head colds can keep us from the will to get it right. Witty, infectiously funny and always surprising we are tirelessly driven by our love of this play. Bring on week three.
Noël Coward’s Word of the Week: Effulgent (spoken by Ernest in Act 1) meaning: shining brightly or radiant. Origin 1730 – 40 from the Latin effulgere: to shine forth.