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A Midsummers Night Dream Evaluation

Opening night, 9th of March 2015:

Opening night for me went really well, Everyone put inn a lot of energy and the show was swift and smooth with few hicups, the biggest issue we faced on opening night was back stage. The mic’s were on back stage and a lot of people didnt realise and i found that a lot of people were talking fairly loudly and we were told that we could be heard through the speakers in the theatre. This for me let us down the most and I fell like if we conserved our energy more back stage we could have had even more energy to put into our performance. However even though we burned a lot of energy back stage we had more than enough on stage. We were able to execute the songs and dances with flat out performances by everyone and the singing and dancing in my opinion were very equal, the acting however was indeed the strongest of them all. Performances form Sian, Jack, Rachel and Harry were the ones who had always stood ot the most for me. This is because I feel like they were the ones with the most convincing performances through out the entire show. During the fairy Scene with Myself, Sophie, Beth, Sian and Jamie was the most enjoyable for me because of Sian’s performance as Puck, Sian was a joy to be on stage with and I feel like we worked very well together because we were able to make eye contact, freestyle a lot together in her and Jamie’s song “free”. Sian gave a very convincing performance of Puck in my opinion Because even when she was in the back ground she was using her face and body language to react to what is going on to help tell the story. We didn’t have a lot of time with the fairy scene with our director Lynn for this scene as it was rather small, but as it is an iconic scene in the play us five would meet up during lunch and breaks to make sure that we were able to be comfortable in it, know the movements we were going to use in the scene and develop it further. We also worked on the song free with Jamie and Sian and made the choice that if we were to free style most of “free” then it would be slightly different each night would would mean that the reactions of the fairies would be more realistic. However we kept in a specific point where Beth, myself and Sophie were in a line and Jamie and Sian would push us back then pull us forward a few times. This was effective on stage, I know this because the audience laughed quite a bit at this.
Rachel and Jacks dynamics as Oberon and Titania were incredible on stage, in the scene before “Love will tear us apart” you could see the similarities of the characters but more importantly the differences and the frustration between then which would have enhanced the two of the fairy gangs. I was also impressed with the Manchester accents that the two of them had because they had been working on them though the rehearsals of the show and they were able to give very strong convincing accents which flowed through the whole of the show.
Tonight Harry in the last scene for Pyramis and Thisbe, Harry came out with his sward in his underwear that was on over his blue onesie, he had never done this before and everyone on stage including myself found it very difficult not to laugh to much. This got an amazing reaction from the audience and they could not stop laughing. Harry’s energy in the whole of the show was consistent and pushed everyone to match him which meant that we all had to work that extra bit harder on stage which meant that our show was even more successful.
I do feel like the opening song “Step on” was the weakest of all the numbers and lacked energy and commitment, this is because I don’t feel like everyone on stage was producing the same level of sound nor performing with their faces and their movements, when we were circling I saw a lot of people looked more like rabbits in headlights than two gangs ready to fight for Oberon or Titania. Saying this, tonight was opening night and that may have been nerves and pressure getting to some of the members in the cast. Despite the opening number and the mic’s backstage i feel like by the interval we warmed that audience up and made them laugh a lot, the audience tonight was challenging because in the beginning they were fairy frosty, although that made everyone work harder. Overall I believe tonight was a success. The things that I would have changed for my own personal performance is that I would have been more vigilant with spacial awareness in the fairy scene because at some points i felt like it was very closed off for most of the scene so a lot of the audience members stilling stage left would not have seen much of the fairies faces and our reactions they would have seen more of our backs than anything else.

Closing Night, 12th of March 2015:

Closing night I think was the most successful performance, this is because we had a few nights practice with it being a proper performance in front of a paying audience, whereas before opening night happened I don’t think a lot of people comprehended that it was to be treated like a proper show. This lead the behaviour back stage to quite loud and disorderly. I know this because of the amount of noise coming though the speakers form the mic’s back-stage, even though they should have been turned off we still should have been quite just in case anyway through respect for the show. Although saying this by closing night the noise had reduced down and people were much more thoughtful towards it which meant people didn’t have to stand shoulder distance form the show relay to hear their queues. I also feel like this performance everyone gave one hundred and fifty percent into everything they were doing because we knew it was the last time we would be performing a version of ‘A Midsummers Night Dream’ with this cast. In some of the previous shows the energy was lacking some what, surprisingly when it was the whole cast numbers/scenes. For example the Thursday night performance, in the songs ‘Love will tear us apart’ and ‘Step on’ the performances were quite flat and felt dull on stage so it would have felt dull to the audience because not everyone was giving it one hundred and fifty percent like we did on closing night. The atmosphere was completely different and the audience was probably the best we had had which makes us want to be even better and raise the standard of the show even more so then the quality we already had it in. It was very prevalent to me that the audience had the tendency to effect our performances which is one of my biggest regrets with the show as it shouldn’t have an effect on our performance quality at all but sadly it did which is a factor to why our last night was our best night, the audience were laughing along and seemed to be very generous.
On the other hand this was the worst night form a personal performance point of view. This is because during the fairy scene I managed to stutter and stumble my way through the line “The cowslips tall, her pensioners be, in those cold coat spots you see those be rubies”. However I managed to keep going and not drop out of character which is the main thing. I was really disappointed with myself though because it was the only night that I managed to mess up but I am pleased that the scene kept going and got a good flow back and it didn’t have a strong effect on it over all. I enjoyed the part of the show that enjoyed most was the song that follows straight after the fairy scene which is ‘Free’ this is because we seemed to do more in it with the improvising and the audience laughed at some of the things Puck and Robin would do to rattle the fairies and then our reactions along with it.

In conclusion I think that the cast ‘A Midsummers Night Dream’ banded together very well and we were able to work together and work quickly to get things blacked and lines learnt so then we could clean the scene’s/dance’s that we needed to do then put everything together to make a show that flowed well and had a clear path to it. However if I could have changed anything it would have been to lean my lines in a different way as I feel like I had a strong pattern in the rhyming of the words because of the iambic pentameter I found it very difficult to break out of that. I feel like the show was a success as a whole and I found it a very enriching experience to work with a cast of that size which was challenging but because of the commitment and the drive to make the show great it made everything so much simpler.

 

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tech rehearsals

I found the tech and dress rehearsals very useful because it allows you to get used to the lighting and the amplified sound to the level it will be during show week. I don’t have any costume changes in the show but for the people who do and who have very quick changes, for example the backing singers, it gives them time to find out how much time they have and to practice those quick changes which is important because then they wont miss their queue for the songs and the scenes they are in. We also had a photographer in which was different because shows that I’ve done prior to this one, we have had a photographer their but we would just run the show and have photos taken at the same time with out really stopping. But when we had our photographer in their were certain scenes that had been picked out that were photographed which was a lot of stopping and starting because we had to repeat the scenes so then we could get the photographs done properly.

I found that the tech rehearsals are always more stressful then the show because its our last chance to get everything right before opening night. then if we don’t things right then opening night becomes a black void that no one wants to face but if we can get everything sorted in detail then opening night is much more breezy and enjoyable. I felt that overall the tech run went quite well with a few hiccups here and there considering that it was out first time doing the show in the actual space and it was out tech teams first time running the show with their lighting and props that they have made, etc. From a personal point of view I am feeling very confident and sure of what I am doing and where I am at what time, however in the scene with myself,fairy one, fairy three, puck and robin the scene gets very closed off and very central to the point when we’ve realised that we have closed it off so much its very difficult to open it back up. What I have suggested that we do is all get together and run the scene, realise what movements and positions we are placing ourselves in and how we can fix this. I am already aware that I walk towards puck and robin but then I don’t quite go further enough back and that I don’t stand so square with them because then the audience are only seeing one side of me and not my face at all. To fix this I am going to have my hair still curled and have a slightly fluffy crazy look to it with the pink in my hair but I will be pinning it up so then it is less of a distraction.

In the tech run I felt like the show went very slow but this was to be expected due to the mic’s, the music and the lighting that we needed to sort out along the way, however we need need to learn how to be around the mic’s because they are very sensitive and they can pick up the smallest mutter of a voice. This it was we have to be most careful I think because if the mic’s are on then they can be heard though out the head sets and speakers which is what we want to avoid because then the audience will be able to hear everything.

 

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Rehearsal log 26th feb 2016

Today in our rehearsals for ‘A Midsummer Nights dream’ we blocked a scene with Lysander and Demetrious in the lead up to their fight which doesn’t actually take place in the end. We came up with the idea of using chiffon material to create a ‘mist’ that Oberon’s gang would use to confuse the two of them so0 much that they would pass out. I helped to choreograph this, I thought it would be good to have two people in the middle with slightly shorter pieces of material so then Lysander and Demetrious would have two massive pieces of chiffon at the sides for their entry and to get caught up in at the sides but then when they are in the middle they have two people to confuse them both and make sure they never see each other so then the fight wouldn’t take place.

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