By Louisa Taylor January 19, 2012
Unbelievably we have already passed the golden landmark that is the first week in rehearsal. Time is ticking by until the first performance now…tick tock, tick tock. But I get ahead of myself.
It was good. So says the biggest understatement of all time. The beautiful melodies that our wonderful cast produced in just two rehearsals was glorious. To call them an angelic chorus would be an insult. It was magical hearing the melodies come alive with such depth. I began to wonder whether we should do anything more but stand and sing these wonderful tunes. Reality of course kicked in with requests for costume meetings (as expected)and the need to work out who was needed where but for a few moments I revelled in just hearing the music at work. It made some of the early pain worthwhile.
For example, the casting was no mean feat, I can tell you. I will not share with you or any other how many hours were spent by our little creative team in considering the pros and cons of every possible permutation of casting before we finally reached a solution we could all live with. I will only tell you how little sleep was obtained in those remaining hours before the announcement. Well, maybe I exaggerate a little. Only a little, mind.
Anyway, with the casting finally decided it was time for me to get on with planning how to neatly move nearly forty people on and off the stage built for only half that number. My head was awash with ideas and little pictures of how X would move to Point A whilst Y was moving to Point B etc and generally my darling little brain coped admirably with conjuring up the required imagery to ensure that this strategy would actually work. However there came a point when I was literally going round in circles (my kitchen floor will never be the same again) and my brain swirled with hopeless possibilities each as maddening as the last.
Suddenly a friendly voice suggested the use of my many jars of herbs and spices. I scoffed loudly and proclaimed that jelly beans would in fact be a far greater solution to the problem. I counted out eleven different coloured beans to represent the Brothers and another one (sadly not technicoloured) to represent Joseph. Then swiftly bit off his head.
I don’t recommend the use of jelly beans for characters. I proceeded to eat more jelly beans than would have represented the entire cast, pit singers, band, crew and half the audience. True the picture had been colourful (with the emphasis on both the “have” and the “bean”) but my swirling circle issues had not been resolved and my New Year’s plan to lose those cheese-consumption extra pounds had also gone the same way.
And so it was that the Brothers became jars of spices and herbs. No-one ended up as the Mixed Herbs (with the sadly broken lid) but all manner of spice will be represented on our stage. Perhaps I will one day reveal which Brother was represented by which jar. Hmm, perhaps not.
Amazing really how quickly the issue was then resolved and my little diagrams completed with names and arrows galore. The problem of course is that my real life Brothers are not going to take kindly to being manhandled into position (or knocked over on a regular basis) like my little jars. Maybe it will actually be easier with real people who can think on their feet and understand rather than having to be pushed and shoved. I’m quite excited now by the prospect of seeing these little visions come to life. It is going to take lots of patience, determination and energy to get us there but we will do it. If the quality of the singing is anything to go by it will be a breeze. Perhaps I ought to take a few jelly beans with me. Just in case.