Update. 8th day of Wardrobe Diaries diary. Follow our journey.

After another messy morning of glueing on Friday, our best efforts to keep the workplace well ventilated weren’t enough to prevent collapses of giggles when we started work in the afternoon. So, we put aside our guidelines of Objective, Context and Strategy, to work on some small scale rigging and counterweight tricks. They look great on their own but, the challenge is to find the introductions and resolutions for these moments.

As we’re trying to find our ways in and out of the moments, we have a new watchword that is Fragility.

Today has been a huge journey for me. Starting the day in last week’s mode of running through scenes that have no order, trying to polish them through physical training, I found myself at a total loss when I handed over to Bridie, who is creating a choreographic number that the work has needed since the start. My time out consisted of making a set of cards describing distinct scenes, looking at them and wondering how on earth we might make them into anything that won’t make people ask for their money back at the box office.

Enter Phil Mackenzie. With a blackboard, chalk, blue tack, my little white cards and a lot of questions for me about who does what, how it looks and feels etc., Bridie working away to 5,6,7,8s, in the background to Mr Scruff beats, leaving me feeling like I had a bowling alley installed in my head. . . The show started to take shape. We trashed, re-thought, segmented, co-related and over-laid the blocks of work into a First Draft.

Tomorrow, I will present the 1st draft to the company with all the pride of the Mayor of Poundbury, unveiling a water feature at the nearest motorway service station. Once the fantastic cast grasp what the bigger picture is, and as Phil continues to inspire, I look forward to our first full rehearsals at Riverfront, which will be more akin to the Mayor of Madrid unveiling a statue in tribute to Fallen Heroes.


Many thanks to Bridie and Phil for today.

More news, as ever. . .

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Comment by tim Claydon on September 11, 2009 at 11:20
Keep the faith mate. Just dont loose sight of the vision that you first had all those months ago or at least the feel of it. Sounds like you have a great team with you so your not in this alone. Say hi to Craig for me and ill see you very soon.
Thinking of you bro
T xxx
Comment by National Theatre Wales on September 10, 2009 at 22:47
Great to catch up on the blog James, and congrats to you and Bridie on your strong work in Directors' lab today.
Comment by Peter Cox MBE on September 10, 2009 at 7:15
Hi James

It's very engaging getting your flashes of life in the unforgiving flames of development hell. I was once brought in as a script doctor to join a devising company who were totally lost in their process. The first thing I did was blu tac up 12 sheets of flipchart paper. In between 6 & 7 I placed a stool with a glass of wine on it. I then began exploring structure with them. They were completely mystified by the glass of wine for a very long time. (Which was why I used it - to illustrate my point that they were very lost in the source material and had forgotten this was going to be an experience for an audience.) Once it dawned on them that the glass of wine represented the Interval light began to pour in. The flip chart sheets suddenly began to fill with stages in 'the story' which eventually became scenes and subsequently a rather good show. Sounds like Phil is doing a great job as I'm sure you and the rest of the team are. You're in exactly the place that playwrights spend a lot of time and it can be an extremely confusing and challenging place to be at the same time as being wild and wonderful. Enjoy the process and trust it. And it's worth reminding yourself, when particularly confused, that good storytelling is a fugitive artform - it's always trying to get away from you and you have to be very dogged indeed to hound it down.

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Gobeithio y gwnaethoch fwynhau ffrwd fyw Antigone heno. Llongyfarchiadau mawr i'r holl dîm fu'n gysylltiedig â gwneud iddo ddigwydd! Ewch yn ôl i dudalen @ambobdim NTW i weld Dream a Little Dream for Me 3 gan Emily Laurens am 9.30pm https://amam.cymru/nationaltheatrewales …

Gobeithio y gwnaethoch fwynhau ffrwd fyw Antigone heno. Llongyfarchiadau mawr i'r holl dîm fu'n gysylltiedig â gwneud iddo ddigwydd! Ewch yn ôl i dudalen NTW i weld Dream a Little Dream for Me 3 gan Emily Laurens am 9.30pm https://amam.cymru/nationaltheatrewales …

We hope you enjoyed the livestream of Antigone this evening. A big congratulations to all the team involved in making it happen! Head back to the NTW @ambobdim page to see Emily Lauren's final Dream a Little Dream for Me at 9.30pm: https://amam.cymru/nationaltheatrewales …

We hope you enjoyed the livestream of Antigone this evening. A big congratulations to all the team involved in making it happen! Head back to the NTW page to see Emily Lauren's final Dream a Little Dream for Me at 9.30pm: https://amam.cymru/nationaltheatrewales …

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