Rehearsal Week 2: Two-Handers and Open Dress Rehearsals! - By Bethaney Coulson
The second week of rehearsals brought even more festive fun, silliness and magic than the first. Having learnt the whole show in the first week, now it was time to play around and make it our own. We worked a lot in our individual teams - developing the characters, smoothing out transitions, correcting puppetry, adjusting sound levels… the list goes on! The show is busy, with so much squeezed into every moment to allow the audience to get as much out an hour's performance as possible. At first, it’s quite a lot to get your head around. Which prop do I need to give to Harry now? What’s the next cue to play the music? Which puppet do I need next? What’s my next line?!
Reworking the show to work for two people, when it is written specifically for three, can be a very complicated process. Claire, our director, had to work out which lines to cut for the script to make sense, who was going to cue the music if both actors were originally onstage, which actor would puppeteer which puppet, plus a whole host of other problems. It involves a lot of concentration and teamwork to make it all piece together and run smoothly – luckily with a show like 'Harry’s Christmas Spirit', it’s all about having fun and working with the audience, who love to get involved! If we ever need an extra pair of hands, we can always count on an enthusiastic teacher or carer to lend a hand. Thankfully, we managed to piece together the show without too many sacrifices, and the run-throughs were a success.
Once the performances were done and all of the props, set and puppets were squished into cars to go out on tour, it was time to say goodbye to the other cast members as we parted ways to take the show out on the road all over the UK. For the second year running, I am part out the South-England based Team Benson, with Team Harry tackling the North of England and Scotland, and Team Maurice taking on everywhere in between. It was sad to say goodbye to my fellow actors after working so closely with them over the past two weeks, however I can’t wait to hear all about their adventures! It was also farewell to our wonderful creative team, Claire, Katie and Sue – another fabulous show created by these superwoman that will bring smiles to children all over the UK, we couldn’t have done it without them!
Let the tour commence – the countdown to show number one begins..!
Bethaney Coulson, Team Benson