Laura Burrows | Due Course | Co-Designer

On the sunny Saturday of this bank holiday weekend, the ensemble met for what we sadly (or… fearfully?!) realised was our third to last meeting before we begin our rehearsal schedule. There were rather few of us in this session so instead of beginning to work on the actors reading through the plays as Tilly had originally planned, we did a short, timed read through of the revised scripts. Due to the absence of a couple of the performers, Tilly and I filled in the gaps, but having not performed or read a play aloud since school, I suddenly became quite giggly and nervous at the task at hand! Perhaps it was the sun, or the sound of the local ice cream van intermittently driving past playing the ‘Match of the Day’ theme tune, but this giggly atmosphere continued throughout the session.

This was the first time we had done a continuous read-through of the plays, in the format we will most likely to perform them in; I think it made us all feel as though we had chosen well. Even just sitting in the New Perspectives office with scripts and cups of tea at hand, we were all moved (to uncontrollable laughter at some parts) by each piece.

Having established the running order of our performance piece, we then began to think about some of the gaps and how we might like to show the transition from one play to another. For me, this was where the beauty of working within an ensemble became really apparent. Everyone was able to bring something new to the table, a show they had seen that had inspired them, a poem they had read with a line that was especially poignant, an image that conveyed an idea relevant to the piece or simply an experience they’d had that was applicable in this moment. Through these contributions what we have created is a framework in which we can devise, design and direct Due Course and (hopefully!) showcase the works of the DREAM UP competition winners to their full potential!

During the ‘course’ (geddit?) of the session we also failed miserably at the task of giving the show a tagline. Our suggestions included titles that were previous vetoed (such as **** London), anything that sounded “too GCSE-y (Tilly was very strict about this!), “Voices of the East Midlands” (you can see we were struggling), “River People” and my personal favourite (the one that provoked the most giggling) “We’ll take you up the River Trent!” (I blame the sun).

Alas, this is a task that we have put on the shelf until our penultimate (eek!) STEP UP session. Hopefully those who were absent on Saturday will be able to provide us with a more sensible, less GCSE-y tagline! We’ll find out in “Due Course” (…sorry).

Laura Burrows, STEP UP Creatives Ensemble 2013, Designer

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