Theft – week 7 – keeping on keeping on

After all the excitement last week GC has settled in nicely to the role of Trevor putting his own stamp on it, and we are now back to simply cracking on.

We’ve done the primary blocking and now we are adding in all the details – the fun bit. We are a few weeks behind due to the change in cast member but everyone is rallying and we are making huge progress with lots of laughter along the way. PG took over for part of last week while I was away and I saw what they’d done, really lovely stuff going on and we added even more this week. Tremendous creative atmosphere!

On a slightly scarier note, I nearly had a heart attack when I discovered that we had seven weeks until show week.



Yeah, yikes sums it up very nicely! After the heart beat went back to normal and I realised how far the cast have come with the line learning, and how much we’d got done with blocking and character development I realised that worry is for wusses;  we’ve got this covered!


What else did I do?

I finally finalised the synopsis that will go out on the publicity:


‘Theft’ by Eric Chappell

It’s John and Barbara’s 20th wedding anniversary and John has invited old friends Trevor and Jenny down to his country house for the weekend. They go out for dinner and come back to find they have been burgled, and that the burglar is still inside the house!

The burglar is none other than Spriggs, and in his desperate attempts to talk himself to freedom he reveals all manner of secrets that the keepers had thought well and truly hidden.

Will marriages and life-long friendships ever be the same again?

Will Spriggs manage to escape? Will Barbara eventually get rid of that statuette?

Theft is a tongue-in-cheek delight, packed with daring reversals and stinging one-liners about marriage, money and crime.


Oh, and huge excitement – we have a poster! Our girl, ST, did an amazing job, I love it. Here it is:

IMG-20140915-00118 (2)

I know, right? A really great poster 🙂

I also did a first draft of the programme and the tickets are ready to print.

Next week, we’ll finish Act 1, then the week after we’ll hit act 2 and then it’s all about polishing.

All good stuff!



Theft – week 6 – the cat’s away so the mice will play

With CH/TheatreCams on a well earned holiday, I was deputised to keep order at the rehearsal on Thursday, so I offered to write this week’s report about the rehearsal week. Last Friday, we had learned that CB had to withdraw because work commitments were taking him away for several months. GC was contacted and he duly turned up on Monday, ready and willing to take over a part that he had not even read. It was decided that an ‘in at the deep end’ approach was the best and he walked up onto the stage and was talked through most of the first scene.

Last night it was decided that we would complete scene 1 and then, after tea, go straight through, only stopping if things became muddled, which it inevitably did, but we coped!  We worked very hard for well over 2 hours, with only a quick break for tea.  At one juncture, MC resplendent in his mac, a bit reminiscent of Columbo, except the mac is a different colour, was smarter and MC is a lot taller than…., (oh, alright, nothing like Columbo), began to feel his way into the role. Book down, he started to explore the various physical problems the character endures. I was enthralled and asked, in some awe, whether he was playing Quasimodo. The gales of laughing caused BG to look up from her task and declare that we were having far too much fun, so she would be telling CH/TheatreCams.

I confess it was a fun evening, you are a brilliant lot. SR, unused to my management techniques, was totally unfazed by my threat to nail his feet to the floor if he moved again, I must be losing my fear factor.

Thank you everyone for a great evening, this is a very happy production.



Theft – week 5 – dealing with the unexpected

In the first rehearsal this week we finally finished the basic blocking for act 2 – yay! – we just needed to go back to act 2 scene 1 to insert CR into the action as she had been away for the rehearsal where we covered that, and then we can go back to the beginning and put the details in.

Rehearsal 2 rolled around, I was all prepared for working out ‘the kiss’ and the little bit of ‘fisticuffs’ in act 2 scene 1 when along came an email from CR, the person who needs to be kissed and our resident fight choreographer.

The poor girl had developed the nasty cold bug that is doing the rounds. She and I decided that the best place for her was wrapped up at home. But what to do at rehearsal? All my well laid plans had flown out the window.

We ended up jumping around the script going over little details, fine tuning bits and pieces. We started, oddly enough, at the very end of the play and then jumped to the very beginning dealing with lovely bits of business relating to an outside light. Then we worked through act 1 scene 1 skipping the pages where CR is involved.

In other words lots of stopping and starting and flipping back and forth through the pages and the director (me) turning into a pernickety pain the neck!

Gosh, it was hard work – rehearsing when jumping about, requires solid concentration –  but there were giggles and questions and everyone pitched in. And, my goodness me, we got SO MUCH done, and what we got done looks really, really GREAT! One happy director 🙂

So, this week’s post is a big thank you to all the cast and crew for putting up with all the uneven-ness and with my frustrations with myself, and to let you know that I  did notice all the times you were saying lines without looking at the script. I was very impressed!


You are all wonderful! Thank you 🙂



Theft – week 4 – that family feeling

There is a point in the rehearsal period of every production when it starts to get that tight-knit family type of vibe. Week 4 was that time for Theft.

All of a sudden the cast just clicked. The fact that we finally had everyone under one roof was probably a major contributor, but all the same they were laughing unreservedly together and joking around and going off into corners to talk. They were relaxed and happy and that, folks, is the recipe for creative magic.


All sorts of bits and pieces of clever ideas started being suggested. And then JG, our resident set genius installed French doors, which made me squeal with delight – I kid you not, I actually squealed – and that added to the mix. We started talking character story arcs and you could see lines sinking into actors’ brains.

The thing started developing a life of it’s own.

And that, dear reader, is why I am nuts about theatre. Why I involve myself, one way or another, in nearly every production CADS puts on. It is the watching what starts as words on a page and a picture in my imagination become a living, breathing little world of it’s own up there on the stage.

Just wow.

But, back to business: what we did this week …


Well, I bought the license to perform, so we’re legal. Always a good plan.

We, or rather I, decided that a coffee table was too much so we are having a couple of side tables instead. The poor cast were bunched up stage at the back of the room desperately trying to avoid crashing to either furniture or each other. Never a good look for a play. We have loads more room to play with now.

Our set designer/costume whiz, BG, showed me the wall paper, a beautiful goldy colour and she started to reupholster the chaise longue with a lovely rich red fabric. Let me tell you, I got very excited about seeing the finished set, it is going to look amazing!

As I said before, we now have French doors. French doors! Yay!

The cast sat down and recorded the script to help with line learning. Man, that was hilarious! I’m surprised they can hear the script for laughter. I was probably the worst offender!

We got basic blocking for act 2 scene 1 done.

A busy and very satisfying week. Roll on week 5!