Well, it was 6 weeks ago that we embarked on rehearsals for Sherman Cymru's production of Clytemnestra, adapted by former National Poet of Wales, Gwyneth Lewis.
After our readthrough on the first day, which clocked in at a far-from-mammoth 45 minutes, I think a few of us maybe questioned whether we were going to need 5 and a half week rehearsal process. How wrong we were. We've needed every possible minute!
The rehearsal process has very much felt like trying to keep lots of plates spinning simultaneously. Obviously, our main focus has been trying to do justice to Gwyneth's very visceral and muscular text and help create Amy's vision for the overall piece but there have been many other layers that we've had to explore along the way. In creating the world of the play, we've had to create a physical language for the production and we've been very much put through our paces by our choreographer, Dr. Johan Stjernholm (who we affectionately refer to as Dr. Dance). A large amount of the rehearsal process has also focused on the sonic asks of the play – Simon Thorn has created a very haunting and brutal soundscape for the piece which is augmented by live sound created by the cast (both on and offstage) which works within very definite parameters but which differs every night as it feeds from the action that is happening onstage.
It wasn't until we reached production week, that we realised that when we got those three plates spinning (Gwyneth's text along with the movement language and an almost constant underscore) some very special things happen on stage and suddenly three very different facets of performance harmonise.
And I haven't even mentioned takis' bold design for the production, which is an absolute pleasure to perform on and Lee Curran's utterly exquisite lighting – one cast member quite rightly said during tech “:He's really good. He doesn't just make the set look beautiful. He makes us look pretty good too!”. And I wholeheartedly agree.
We've only added 30 minutes onto the piece since our first readthrough (that's right – a rather lithe 75 minute Greek tragedy) but trust me when I say that it is jam-packed with 6 weeks of blood, sweat and tears.
Now that the pressures of previews and press night are out of the way, the show is really starting to breathe and grow and we are starting to find some very exciting new resonances and nuances in it.
Oh, and I haven't even mentioned by mesh toga-cum-onesie.
We all hope you're able to make it along to a performance – here's what some audience members have had to say about it so far...
We run Monday to Saturday until May 5th, and tonight and tomorrow there is a 2-for-1 Ticket Offer for NTW Community Member. Just quote the offer when calling to book tickets on 029 2064 6900
Ooo, and the Sherman Cymru Cafe Bar is doing a special 'Greek Mezze Menu' for the duration of Clytemnestra which is well worth partaking in. I can fully vouch for it.
And...well...if that isn't enough to tempt you, this is probably the only occasion when you're ever going to see me wearing a mesh onesie.
If that's doesn't tempt you, I don't know what will.
Hope to see you at one of our performances over the next 2 weeks.
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