Actor’s Diary: Sam O’Sullivan, THE NORMAN CONQUESTS

20 Sep 2018

Late last week we had some observers in the rehearsal room as part of Ensemble Theatre’s Director at Work program. They watched as we started to put ROUND AND ROUND THE GARDEN on its feet and although we were constantly stopping and starting, trying things out and pausing for discussion, effectively, this was our first audience.

It was an interesting time to bring them in because over the past few weeks we’ve been working on bringing the performance level down – to focus simply on who we’re talking to and what we want from them and not getting wrapped up in the idea of the plays being funny. This actually helps the comedy in the long run. The situations that the audiences will endure during the productions will be all the more funny if they see real characters striving to bring a sense of normality to their ridiculous circumstances.

Having people observing rehearsal meant it was tempting to raise things back up and this temptation will no doubt be present when we move into the theatre. Personally, I’m also finding it trickier in ROUND AND ROUND THE GARDEN as opposed to the other two plays, perhaps because the outdoor setting lends itself to a more expansive form of expression. Or maybe I’m just three plays in and my primary focus right now is not tripping over things!

Right now, we’re almost back from lunch and this afternoon we’ll probably finish blocking ROUND AND ROUND THE GARDEN. When that’s done all three plays will have a shape. Not bad for four weeks out!

 Sam O’Sullivan

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The Director At Work program is proudly supported by George and Diana Shirling ‘Supporting the next generation in theatre’.