We are currently three days into rehearsals for our wonderful show "Picture Perfect - A New Musical" and I am loving every second!
It all started on Monday and it was the first time the whole team were in the same room. As you can imagine it was very daunting knowing we only had five days of rehearsal ahead of us to create and learn a whole show! The story we are telling is so gripping and complex and each one of our 20 songs is a little slice of musical genius. Scott Evan Davis is the man behind our beautiful music. I feel so honoured to be working with him along with our wonderful director Simon Greiff (who also conceived the story), our brilliant musical director Colin Billing, and the amazing producers United Theatricals.
Day one was music day. We spent our time focusing on the ensemble numbers. We worked on harmonies and played around with who sings what. Our run marks the world premiere of this production and we feel so grateful our creative input as actors has been welcomed with open arms. All of these songs have been performed in New York and Los Angeles as part of a musical review but this is the first time they have been part of a story so it's been incredibly interesting to see Scott and our creative team making little changes and adapting them to work as part of a musical.
On day two we began to put this beast on its feet. We started at the very beginning (a very good place to start... sorry, I couldn't resist!). Simon worked with us to get our characters established and we made great progress! By the end of the day we were already halfway through the show! We loosely plotted the shape of each number and how we were going to move seamlessly from number to number. We spent lots of time making sure the story was clear. This is very important as we don't have scenes to set up parts of the story. We do the whole thing through song and it's been great to really break down the lyrics and establish exactly what they mean to each character. It sounds obvious but I think as actors we tend to take dialogue for granted as it kind of does the job for us.
Today was day three. We finished the show! And it's in fantastic shape. The show is brought to a close with a stunning ensemble song that really brings all of the characters together and brings a sense of resolve to the piece. I would say it was probably the most complex when it comes to harmonies and I have to say everyone was really on their game. Considering we only spent an hour learning it on Monday, everyone came into the room knowing their stuff. The show is in incredible shape. After three days of rehearsal we are at the refining stage of our process.
The next two days will be spent working on the show as a whole in more detail. We will be going back to the start and really refining what we have created, both musically and physically. This is one of my favourite parts of the rehearsal process. Detail is everything, especially with the intimate space that we will be performing in. Every part of our performance will be seen close up and therefore need to be detailed and precise. We will also, of course, run the whole thing a number of times to solidify everything we've worked on.
On Saturday, we move into our new home and begin tech. This is where we work in the performance space, plot the lighting, get into microphones and work out the sound and then off we go!
Come see for yourself this weekend!
St James Theatre Studio
Saturday 31st May (4pm & 8pm) and Sunday 1st June (3pm & 7pm)