Today was the first rehearsal of ‘Hamlet’ that was performed in the actual theatre, which looks incredible. As I had correctly deduced, it is to be performed in the round, above and beneath a sunken Perspex stage, which has been set at such a height that the actors can move around freely below it. This slightly irregular staging meant that everybody needed to be briefed about the dangers that were associated with such a set, and whilst I didn’t catch a word of what was actually said, I am pretty confident that it was along the lines of: ‘Please try to avoid all delusions of grandeur, and stay off the stage unless you ate in the scene, as if you fall down one of the trapdoors you will humiliate yourself and a thousand generations of your family.’ Tempting as a brief wander across the Perspex was, I managed to stay anchored to my seat throughout the rehearsal.
This evening I there was a final practice with my Drama Communication students before next Monday’s performance. They have worked so hard to achieve what they have, and whilst there are still a few things that need refining, it is far more polished than some plays that I have been involved in. The only thing that is now slightly starting to concern me is that if everyone who says they are coming attends, we risk breaching the health and safety regulations of the venue. Still we shall cross that hypothetical bridge if and when we come to it.