On Monday we arrived at the rehearsal studio to find a wonderfully organised space with coloured tape marking out the one-way system, personal break-out zones, performance area, storage and warm-up area. It was very easy to navigate and really made you feel safe to rehearse under covid social restrictions. These markings enabled us to be safe, but also helped keep the rehearsals running smoothly, as we did not need to visually work out if we were 2 or 3 metres away from one another. Stay within the guide-lines and you were set to sail! I was grateful for this, as it meant I could concentrate on learning the staging (acting and choreography) and work on the crafting the musical numbers.
Derek Clark, who had arranged the adaptations we were performing, joined us at the start of the week to go through all thing’s music. Derek cleverly chose the best bits of the two operettas: HMS Pinafore and Pirates of Penzance, in order to create arrangements that last 30 minutes each instead of the original two hours each. Perfect for a spontaneous Pop-Up performance.
I worked alongside a fantastic team:
|Mark Nathan – Baritone |
Katie Barnett – Storyteller
Laura Sergeant – Cello
Ian Watt – Guitar
Jessica Leary – Soprano
Allan Dunn – Director
Ali Biggs – Stage Manager
Anne Page – DSM
Patricia (Trish) Kenny – Costume
Mark Renfrew – Sound Engineer
Brian – Stage Hand and the all-important Lead Driver.
We worked through each show in chronological order, working out the choreography, costume changes and planned where the comedic and dramatic moments should fall. It was a lot of fun – and I adored being back in the rehearsal room creating a show with a team.
I had the pleasure of staying with Laura, my fellow Pop-Up tour mate, at her home in Larbert for the first two weeks of the tour. I was lucky to have splendid weather for walking, so that I could explore this area of Scotland. I particularly enjoyed walking around the woodland at Forth Valley Royal Hospital. There were clear pathways weaving between nature with thoughtfully placed benches to encourage little breaks to sit and hear birdsong. I was pleasantly surprised to see Swans in the Loch – this took me back to a beautiful pond I would visit regularly with my brothers and mum in Knutsford during the summer school holidays. We would go there feed a flock of Swans and enjoy a little family time.
Here is a sweet video created by the hospital, to show the idyllic spots of the woods and suggest what can be enjoyed here.
The tour started on Friday at Stirling Castle, Stirling with four shows over two days in was a glorious start to the tour.
Here are the dates and locations of our performances over the next couple of weeks:
For ticket information click HERE