Rehearsals begin

The first day of three weeks of rehearsal began today.  Big Brum's actor-teachers, Richard Holmes and Danny O'Grady, have been joined by new recruit Aimee Corbett after Aimee successfully auditioned for the company in July.

General manager Dan Brown and designer Ceri Townsend were also present, and for me it was a great opportunity to experience the process of enacting a play in the very distinct Big Brum methodology. 

Chris Cooper led the session, which began with a read-through of the play Touched.  This was the first time that the actor-teachers had seen a full draft of the script. 

Chris then asked that we identify central IMAGES, ACTIONS, OBJECTS AND SOUNDS. In the following discussion the images included the Girl eating a pear, the man with the baton and the hatch leading to the underground chamber.  Actions including crawling, staring, kicking and proffering.  Objects such as the shoebox, the trainers, the rope and the crates have value and meaning beyond their actual use and presence.  Sounds such as police sirens, gunshots, screaming and discordant singing create a distinctive soundscape for the scenes which informs the site of the play.

The aim of this exercise, as well as familiarising the actors and designer with the text, is part of the working towards the centre of the play, a key concept of Big Brum's methodology:-
"One of the most useful tools for the actor-teacher working both on the text and facilitating the TIE programme as a whole is to establish a centre for each production; the core of what the production, and programme as a whole, are exploring and creating with the audience/participants"

(Chris Cooper, The Performer in TIE, Chapter 7, Learning Through Theatre 3rd Edition, Routledge, 2013)

Matt Hinks