The end of the third week marks the end of our time in the rehearsal room in Cardiff, from Monday we start on site in Usk!!! As scary a thought as this is, as it shows how little time we have, it will be extremely beneficial for us to actually see the site as a company. Working on a site specific piece in an empty rehearsal space has it's frustrations, not being able to see the production in context of location and logistics of audience makes it really hard to see what Matthew is aiming for. However, he seems confident so it will be a relief to see the work we have been doing combined with the location.
It's an element that has interested me from the start, site specific theatre to me is when the work comes from the location - it's history, appearance, inspiration during a process etc. But what has happened here is that we have taken an event that happened in France and we are going to place it on a location on Wales. As is it impossible to pretend the event happened here, I hope we succeed in portraying the importance of the event to the area, and that's why the battle is relevant to the site. The danger is that it comes across as a gimmick, forcing an event on a location, which would cheapen the production and it's sensitive themes substantially.
This week everyone on the project seems to have more clarity on their responsibilities and objectives, therefore the production has really found it's rhythm. I can only discuss this in context of the rehearsal room as that's where I am spending my time. The progress over the last week has been enormous, the actors seem to have a better idea of how to work in the space with Matthew and he seems clearer on what he wants. The progress is now finally moving at an impressive momentum. Reaching this point hasn't been without it's complications, there has been major changes to set, and four new actors are to be integrated into the cast from Monday. All changes are for the better, but it sets some challenges for next week - Integrating the new actors and the community ensemble with the cast, rehearsing and moving forward all whilst becoming familiar with the site. Manic. But hopefully just as exciting.