Hey peoples!!

We are getting quite good at this blogging thing now, so I thought I would take a moment to tell you what we've been up to....

It was one of our residency days today, so we all piled onto Buddy's Fun Bus for a road trip to Blaengarw for a day of rehearsing, meeting with the locals and getting to know another of the venues we will eventually be taking the finished show to.

There are a couple of reasons why these days are useful. Firstly, from a practical point of view, it gives us an opportunity to see if any of the scene blockings will need to be changed to allow for space and audience position. Secondly, and most importantly for the type of show we are trying to create, we get a chance to open our rehearsals up to the people who helped to inspire the characters in the play. They are also a chance for anyone from these communities, who may otherwise have no idea, to see how a show is taken from an initial idea to the finished product.

So, as I said, today was the turn of Blaengarw. I would like to say that the people of Blaengarw have been very welcoming and seem genuinely excited at the prospect of being closely involved with making this show a success. But, my goodness, there are some characters up there (many of which Alan has paid homage to in the script). Let's just say, we met a Con, a Gary, a couple of Tracys and more than a few Mables!!

It makes such a difference to rehearse in the actual buildings we will be portraying and to have the added benefit of an audience in was fantastic today.... especially when, at the same time as watching the show, the audience are "Knitting for Chernobyl" !!!!! We could gauge how well a scene was going by how loud the clicking of the needles became!

And, in case we didn't have enough pressure to impress, we also had a guy from the Guardian in to do a piece on the show (needless to say everyone was a lot more professional than usual today!!) We even managed to do a couple of scenes off book... I was personally impressed with myself, so far in rehearsals I have been clinging to my script like a security blanket!! I even managed to get through Tracy's mammoth speech without too many "uummmmm" moments.

So, to lunch... Now for those who have never been to Blaengarw, there is a cafe there called Creation which does the BEST home cooked food in the valleys!! As Huw quite rightly put it "chicken curry, half rice, half chips and a can for £3... if this was Cardiff, that would have cost £12!"

However, all was not well in the world of Creation........ Boyd had an unfortunate fruit crumble incident (too much fruit, not enough crumble) which he fears may haunt his dreams for the rest of his life.

I told him to channel his emotions into his art... He told me to f**k off!!!

There isn't much more to say really, other than to mention the effect that residency days have on one member of the cast. Poor old Huw finds the trips to different venues more strenuous than the rest of us. It has less to do with his quick change/character switch/schizophrenic moments and more to do with how a different route home ruins his bus-nap time. We're thinking of leaving him in Blackwood and just picking him up on the way home so that he can get a decent sleep. Never mind Rees, back to normal tomorrow.

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Comment by James Williams on February 25, 2010 at 9:58
I made a piece in Blaengarw a couple of years ago and I've never worked with such a well fed company. And you're right about the characters. Have they told you what the unofficial name is for the Chinese takeaway across the road?
Comment by Rhiannon Davis on February 19, 2010 at 10:40
How about a little bobble hat with the NTW logo?!

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