Last weekend I had the immense priviage of seeing the 24 Hour Plays process up close and personal. I was Props Manager for the production so Sunday was a busy day of running around town, answering endless text messages and trying to find things on a deadline, but it was also completely fascinating. I loved seeing the plays come to life – how they changed from the words on the page as the script came hot off the presses at 7.30am on Sunday, to the first “stumble-through” with the actors by mid-morning, to the finished, polished production with lights and sound, costume and make-up by 7.30pm. Seeing the process condensed into a day was a great reminder of all the different elements that feed into a finished show.
It was also a reminder of the things that I’m failing to pay attention to in my own show. Things like sound and lights and costume. Things that I tend to ignore because I don’t have any real expertise in those areas and because it’s a small show with a non-existent budget, I don’t have any designers to advise me. I need to correct because I love shows where all those elements work seamlessly together. They can really add something to the story that you are trying to tell, giving clues to the audience about the sort of world you’re showing them and the characters that inhabit it.
Even in the very brief meetings the technical team had with each show on Sunday, and in the minuscule 20 minute tech time they had on the Abbey stage, time and consideration was given to each aspect of the production. And that’s because the 24 Hour Plays people are consummate professionals and total champs, but also because they are important! That’s the lesson I’m taking away from it – don’t forget the technical aspects of the show! Use what’s available to you.
Rehearsals for In Protest Of… are going well. I like getting other peoples input into the script and the actors seems to like the script and enjoy performing it. It doesn’t feel like a play yet, it’s still three people pottering about in a room. It hasn’t become a real piece of theatre but we’re getting there. There are only three weeks until our first performance, but after the speedy turnarounds I saw last weekend, that seems like loads of time!
Tickets are on sale here and you still have a week to avail of the Early Bird offer.
Here’s a photo of the 24 Hour Play team on the Abbey stage, shortly before they opened the house on Sunday night:
There are lots more photos here, from the Meet & Greet on Saturday and the finished shows on Sunday.