Is London good with people? If the figures are to go by, the largest urban zone in Europe has its charm. More than eight million of us live here, and another million more are set to join by 2020. So, what’s the draw? Boris’ dulcet tones remind us about the Olympics on tannoys across the TFL system this summer, a lot of people think the jobs worth having solely exist within the M25 motorway, and on occasions it even rains art. The answers are endless.
There was, however, not a cloud in the sky for the London stint of Good with People rehearsals. And whilst a lot of the team grew up elsewhere and can identify the more unsavoury aspects of our city of residence, the appearance of the sun on the London skyline has cast some welcome rays into the rehearsal room over the past two days.
Which is where things have been heating up too. After a three week break, everyone in the creative team has had time to digest what was explored during the week in Glasgow and allow their thoughts to develop. This was obvious during the read-through for the whole office, as was it when we discussed the ‘homework’ that had been set.
Decisions have been made to take the piece in a different direction to last time it was produced by Paines Plough. For that reason, we also spent time considering the model box, practicalities of the space and what the costumes might look like. Another feature is the music, which we talked and sung through as a cast.
When the table was pushed against wall and the chairs cleared from the room, the piece had a completely different feel. Already, some of the choices that had been made during the first week, or at home, or on the phone, made themselves manifest. Though we will continue to experiment with physicality and the space itself over the next two weeks, something really quite exciting started happening on the fourth floor on the Aldwych.
The rest of the week is going to be spent sketching the outline of each scene, to incorporate some of the illusions that are going to be created, and to best make the language that we’ll use onstage for the month at The Traverse. Then comes the detail of each scene. But all in good time.
Maybe London is not so bad after all.