Rehearsal Blog #3: Design for Living: ‘Unconditionally right’

Assistant Director on Design for Living and Noel Coward Bursary Trainee at the Playhouse, Kate McGregor gives us a glimpse into the rehearsal room:

Week three started with a play unfinished and ended with something complete. On Thursday we did our first ‘stagger’ through of the show and it’s there – still lots of refinements needed but encouraging none the less. With all the major building blocks in place the next stage is to fine tune the pace of delivery and consolidate our style.

Lots of exciting developments occurred. Rehearsal photos taken for press and publicity and will soon be around the building, costume fittings have been completed with the majority of our cast and props have been brought, made and are ready for use. Outside of the rehearsal room final preparations are taking place in readiness of our technical week, which begins on 23rd January.

Now we’ve reached the end of the play our thoughts have shifted to what audiences might think about Gilda, Leo and Otto in the final act. Even now, the decision they make to be together ‘all three’ is controversial. Perhaps we like to think that we live in an open society where anything goes, but this is often far from the truth. Luckily, most people know the plot of Design For Living, some word for word. But with a fresh and honest revival, as ours is, I wonder how many will cast judgement upon Gilda, Leo and Otto in their unconditional love triangle. The results will surely be as fascinating as they were in 1939!

47 cups of coffee, 5 hot chocolates and countless teas behind us, week four will be reserved for  sculpting the finer details and making a final push to the end. Once this week is over, the next chance we’ll get to make creative changes will be at the dress rehearsal.

Noël Coward’s Word of the Week: Carping (said by Leo in Act Two). Definition: persistent petty and unjustified criticism. Origin 1275 – 1325.

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Photographer: Dominic Parkes


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