Saturday 8th February was the first rehearsal of ‘History of the Vampires’ and the beginning of a 3 month process that will lead to 5 shows in May. As director you’re always a bit nervous when you present the script to the actors.
You hope that they approve and don’t turn their noses up at it. It seemed to favourably received though in the ‘Act Through’ of the play it was quite clear that there were cuts needed in some of the speeches as they were overly long and would certainly try the patience of an audience.
It was a nice new blend of actors that are established with us, some who have been attending our weekly workshops over the last six months or so and who we feel were ready for a chance to perform and a couple of entirely new faces to us.
The key to an opening session, is to relax the actors as much as you can. They come with all kinds of insecurities about their abilities, how well they read etc. So we mucked about – it was fun to watch 10 actors all impersonating Bono singing ‘Vertigo’ (yep it’s in the play!), as well as performing a diabolical (in two senses of the word actually) version of that great English hymn from the pen of William Blake, ‘Jerusalem’.
The other notable comment to make is just how much everyone seems to like being a victim of collective vampire attacks, leading usually to hysterical laughter.
So all in all I was very heartened by the enthusiasm of this bunch of actors and I’m very much looking forward to working with them over the next few months.