Her Naked Skin Assistant Director Clare Threadgold takes us behind the scenes as the professional and community cast settle into rehearsals.
What do you think you know about the suffragette movement?
I have books, articles, web pages, replica, literature and old photos, and I feel I haven’t even scratched the surface of the suffragette movement.
Arriving here at Salisbury Playhouse at the end of the second week of rehearsals we have covered a lot of ground, but research continues when working with a piece that references real-life events. It’s very important to get all the information correct. This play offers so much depth and has made us realise the amazing scale of what went on 100 years ago. Not only that, but the impact the women’s suffrage movement had on society and the effect it had on people’s lives.
In our first week we focused on unpicking the histories and the timelines of some characters, and we discussed and explored their backstories and experiences during the play.
This week the full company started to rehearse with a read through and they are now working chronologically through the script. We’ve also been revisiting scenes we looked at previously and are layering new dynamics, intensions and motivations.
One the first events of rehearsals is viewing the model box. Designer Dawn Allsopp presented the set and costume design to the cast this week. This pulls together the themes of the play and informs everyone in the company of the set they will be working on. We then have what we call a ‘mark-up’ in rehearsals, where the stage management team mark out the dimensions of the set using different coloured tape on the rehearsal room floor. This helps the actors get used to the space they have to perform in.
In the meantime stage management have been sourcing and collecting props for us to use, while wardrobe have been finding a selection of costumes ready for fittings.
Lastly, but not leastly, our wonderful community cast of local women who have had four rehearsals so far and are in full swing. Not only have they been getting to know each other and trying to remember everyone’s name, they’ve also been working on creating their own characters and getting stuck into scenes with the professional cast.
To top it off, our music supervisor Harry Blake has been in to teach the full company a few songs. These songs were from the period and will be used throughout the play.
It’s going to be serious and interesting and fun!
Her Naked Skin runs in the Main House of Salisbury Playhouse from Friday 5 to Saturday 20 October. For more information and tickets visit www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk or call 01722 320333.