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Murder For Two Rehearsal Diary: Week Two

‘Murder For Two is a script which yields ever greater gems the longer you sit with it’

As the snow descended over Bagnor this week, we have continued to plough through the script, and have now completed a ‘first pass’ of the play. This roughly translates as having looked at all of the text and music once. Whilst working on this, we have also begun to revisit the beginning of the show and make ‘upgrades’. Upgrading takes place once the actors have some of the music and text off book (learnt) and we can begin to tentatively put the script and score to one side. Upgrading will continue into week three until we complete the ‘second pass’: going through the entire show for a second time and adding greater specificity.

Unlocking Joe and Kellen’s glorious non sequiturs and rapid-fire comedy duo antics has been a joy. Murder For Two is a script which yields ever greater gems the longer you sit with it: Ed and Jeremy are certainly working their socks off to master the various skills required to do it justice. As well as music, lyrics, lines and blocking, we have thrown some choreography into the mix this week. Luke Sheppard has dusted off his childhood tap skills in order to impart his knowledge of time steps to Ed, who gets to bust some moves whilst Jeremy accompanies him on the piano.

One particularly exciting challenge, not least for our deputy stage manager Ailsa Bonner and company stage manager Kerrie Driscoll, has been to communicate the movement of an invisible character around the stage who interacts with people, props and furniture. At The Watermill we have our lovely assistant stage manager Sara Shardlow to – quite literally – pull the strings in the wings, whereas when we transfer to The Other Palace we’ll be on our own. So we have had to devise methods of moving items using the actors on stage, but without seeing either actor touching any object directly. And thus we have arrived at String Technology. This equates to set and props having long pieces of fishing wire attached to them which are pulled over/open/closed and so on by someone at the other end, who hides the action behind their back (or the conveniently situated piano). So keep your eyes peeled for said trickery in show!

Chloe France, Assistant Director

Murder For Two opens on Thursday 26 January and runs until Saturday 25 February. For more information and tickets click here.