What an energetic start to the day! Pushing a box (by box I mean a flight case with a PA on top) through Fullham with baby Finn strapped to Poppy’s chest was a huge achievement. Not flattening any members of the public even more so! We reached our location; Dance Attic Studios and started the great climb (with set) up the flight of stairs to our final destination; our rehearsal room and home for the week.
What do you get if you cross a fur stole, an old purse and a Venetian mask? ... A Cheshire Cat of course! We opened rehearsals focussing on the creation of this fabulous creature. The cat is created from Alice’s memories of a ballroom dance. This worked marvellously this morning as we had music to play with! The cat takes shape gradually, its progression mimics the progression of the music as she builds from stole to purse to mask to a full bodied cat. The mad enjoyment of the music in this scene soon turns sour, the mood changes when Alice begins to question her own sanity. The music then slows and the cat disperses and we see Alan who also is thinking of his mother whilst in the trenches.
It shows they have an intuition; like that of identical twins. It's incredible how both
Jack and Mandy capture not only the chemistry of their human characters but the
relationships between the objects that they give life to.
I also noticed another point where music is used in an ironic way. This features in the Turtle and the Gryphon song - the Lobster Quadrille. The song is bright and chirpy and is sung by two quite comically lovable characters. One is a Turtle made from a WW1 helmet and a gas mask and the Gryphon is made from a gun holster and two feathers. The merry melody is a duet and its not until you visually see the turtle losing his pal in the heat of the battle that you realise the true sadness of the song. I didn’t think it was possible to feel so much empathy for an old tin hat and a pair of feathers, but that's just the magic of this show.
After a precarious moving mission this morning, the day has become an exploration of magical and moving music! Music has become the glue in uniting scenes, worlds and emotions. Its power has also kept little Finn snoozing all morning which may be it’s greatest quality of all! Having the full set to rehearse with today has enhanced the magic and opened my eyes further into the subtleties and attention to detail that makes this show unique. Yet another fab day! Well done team!