Theft – week 15 – It’s showtime!!!

Opening night  – colour me stunned when people kept pouring in, we were near-as-dammit full. And it was a quality audience, too. So responsive! Cast were on the top of their game, the techy bits were spot on, too. All wrapped together by a top notch set – I was told it would be rich in colour and it would look expensive, and boy did it!

Night two – House was packed, not a free seat. They were a little quieter tonight. Concentrating and chuckling quietly rather than laughing out loud. Made the actors jobs a little harder as there was less energy for them to feed off, but still another excellent performance!

Night three – near-as-dammit full again! And super responsive again. The cast were lapping it up and giving it some welly. Lots of lovely comments about performance ( which we’ve had the other two nights, too – if you’ve not guessed, I’m VERY proud of my cast), AND also about the set tonight (I’m also VERY proud of my crew), which is much deserved, because it’s so, so pretty!

Final night – three quarters full, which ain’t bad considering the competition!  International rugby (wales v new zealand, no less), football, Cowbridge town twinning, and an Edwardian themed event in cowbridge. On top of that the cast made me all uncharacteristically soppy with their thank you comments and gifts – all because they aimed it at me after I’d had a pint of cider. The little devils 😉

To sum it up, I couldn’t be more chuffed with how the play went and with how well it was received. I was blown away by ticket sales, amazing … and now it’s time for me to catch some zzzzzzz before we start the next one :-s


That’s all for now, folks!



Theft – week 14 – the final furlong

Monday – act 1 perfect, act 2 lagging behind slightly.

Thursday – both acts up to speed, best performance so far. Characters clearly on display. Technical probs with sound, as in we didn’t have any!

Sunday – tech rehearsal – sound sorted! Yay! Sound cues and lighting cues all timed out. Gun issues occured and back up plan is in place – phew! The cast did their best performance on their lines.

Whisper it: we’re all set for the dress tomorrow…. eeep!

Monday – dress rehearsal – There’s a superstition amongst theatre folk that a good dress rehearsal means a bad opening night and vice versa. Now, I don’t hold with absolutely, but neither do I dismiss it.

I was very happy, very happy, withour dress rehearsal. It was smoth, on time, no technical issues but there were a few fluffed lines. In other words good enough to bode well but there still things to improve – best of both worlds baby!

Two sleeps to opening night and I can’t wait to get that audience reaction.




Theft – week 13 – valuable minutes

Pacing and running time.

This week has been about upping the former and cutting the latter.


The play is supposed to be roughly 2hrs long. Act 1 should be around 1hr and 10 mins. Act 2 should be around 50 mins.

Act 2 they are nailing. It is swift, flowing, and it works like a dream.

Act 1 is flagging – it came in at 1 hr 30 mins (yikes!). Mainly due to rusty lines, so we blitzed act 1 for two rehearsals, going over it and over it.

The last time we ran it Act 1 came in at a very respectable 1 hr 10 mins – go team!

And with the improved lines and quickened pace the dialogue took on a life of it’s own. It was starting to sound like people just talking together, not actors reciting lines.

It’s the final week of rehearsals next week – the final furlong – and I’m one happy director! 🙂



Theft – week 12 – bits and pieces

This week was frustrating. Or at least it started that way… 🙂 they do say that every cloud has a silver lining.

Act 2 was what we were working on and lines and moves were a struggle to remember on Monday. A real struggle. Then on Thursday a holiday (this was expected) and sickness (not so much) descended and we ended up 2 cast members down.

Cue much hilarity when the crew has scripts thrust upon them so that we could run lines. JG, very much a man taking on a female role was a sight to behold, Les Dawson eat your heart out! And PD, never acted in is life, and would much rather not read the biggest part in the play like a trooper, he even remembered most of the moves.

Impressive stuff. And you could argue that it was a blessing in disguise as the cast had to focus their attention and concentrate. Everyone did so well: moves were crisp, lines were much improved and the whole of act 2 flowed.

Wonderful! Then, a week ago we’d decided to have an extra rehearsal on Sunday evenings to take the pressure off. This Sunday (today) was the second such rehearsal and we used it to sort out little details like the change from Act 1 Scene 1 to Act 1 Scene 2, and the same in Act 2. We also ran the whole of Act 2 from the top, again.

The long and short of it is that we are now in a position to run the whole play from start to finish. Two weeks from show week. This is not something that happens on very play, in fact it’s a bit of a rarity, more often than not we run it straight through just the once before the tech rehearsal.

In other words we are in a REALLY GOOD position. I’m so proud! Well done you lovely lot!



Theft – week 11 – a playlist

A few weeks ago I wrote about the ideas we were discussing for the music to open the Acts of the play and at the time we were leaning towards a jazzy type angle.

Both the cast and I had been mulling this over not really getting anywhere until MC pokes me in the ribs one day during our tea break because he’s had an idea.

‘Money’ by Pink Floyd, he says. We all take a moment to think, nodding our heads, and then SR pulls out his phone and plays it.

I like it, the cast like it. I go home and abuse YouTube’s replay button listening to it over and over again.

Yes, it’s rock but it has a chilled out jazzy vibe to it with anger simmering underneath…. just what Theft is all about. Everything appears to be fine, but under the surface lie resentment and disillusionment.

I no longer like this track, I love it.

Feeling inspired (a.k.a. procrastinating from doing my ironing, something I am a master at) one Sunday afternoon, I open up my iTunes account and trawl through looking for songs to have on while the audience are coming into the theatre. I sought out for ones that brought the play and characters to mind.

Firstly I came to ‘Blaze of Glory’ by Jon Bon Jovi – This is John (played by SR) in spades. He’s not just the king of his castle, he’s a god, and very definitely the hero of every situation he’s in.

Then I came to a couple of songs by Caro Emerald: ‘The Other Woman’, and ‘Tangled Up’. – The first is Jenny (played by JDC), very much the other woman. She is somewhat taken for granted and walked over by both her husband and her lover. The second track is what Spriggs does to the two couples: tangles them up in knots until they don’t know which way is up.

‘Sacrifice’ by Dolly Parton came next – This is Trevor (played by GC), striving to meet the potential of his youth, but are all the cut corners and sacrifices worth what he achieves? Jenny, his wife, isn’t so sure.

‘Don’t Ask Me No Questions’ by Lynyrd Synyrd – Spriggs (played by MC) is your classic Del Boy, or Arthur Daley: wheeling and dealing, he straddles that line between legal and illegal, spending more time in the shady grey areas than anywhere else.

‘A Legal Matter’ and ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ by The Who – Barbara (played by CR) married John because she loved him, he married her for status and polish. She’s been made a fool of, and underestimated, and she’s had enough.





Theft – week 10 – four weeks and counting

Ten weeks down, four to go.

Four. Weeks.

I see my yikes from a few weeks ago and raise it to a double yikes!

count down

This week marked the finish of all the blocking. Now we go back to the beginning and add in the finishing touches, and the cast will go and polish up on the lines.

The set is coming along. All the walls are up, it largely needs decorating; the big thing to be done is to paint the floor and install the famous safe. The safe pays a large part in the plot, so I won’t say too much about that. The floor, though, is not going to be just black, JG and I will decide on some kind of pattern – wooden flooring seems to be what we’re thinking at the moment – and then I’ll be crawling around on my hands and knees to paint it. It’s fiddly and a pain in the whatsit but completely worth it when you see the final effect.

I have hammered out the props list and we are starting to get those together. MC, who plays Spriggs, has made a request: he has to wear marigold gloves at the beginning (he has to protect against finger prints). I had in mind that he would wear a pair of the glamour-puss ones, you know bright and stripey or something. He wants yellow ones. How boring is that? They have more stretch or something…. Hmmm. Anyway, the colour doesn’t really matter and bright yellow against his generally dark costume will work a treat, happiness all round. 🙂


So, yes, that getting-ever-closer opening night is pretty damn scary, but we’re in good shape, and this is looking like it’s going to be one hell of a play.

I can’t wait for you all to see it.



Theft – week 9 – stealing kisses and throwing punches

It’s been a running joke during rehearsals that, for Theft, we are heading for an 18 rating. None of your PG13 nonsense, we’re going for sex and drugs and violence, baby, and laying it on thick, too!

Yeah, perhaps not… Ha!


We have two – count ’em, two – of the most chaste and least romantic kisses in the history of stage kisses, and one pretty mild physical altercation.

This week we covered one of the kisses and the ‘fight’. Next week is kiss 2.

None of these events last longer than from a handful of seconds to a minute, but the amazing thing is that they take FOREVER to rehearse. You go over them, and over them, and then over them again, tweaking a bit here, nudging a bit there until it looks just so. And then, invariably, a week before show week you usually end up altering something AGAIN.

Exhausting stuff: everyone certainly earns their crusts while we’re doing this, but it is totally worth it and, boy, do we giggle! It is all so awkward and absurd, at least for the first few times, that you can’t help but laugh.

Both the fighting and the smooching demand physical closeness, and that does not come naturally with someone you don’t know that well. It’s very much a case of if you don’t know each other now, you soon will!