July 17th, 2018
We kicked off day one of rehearsals with a full company meet and greet between all the people making this show happen. Designer Diego Pitarch and director Paul Hart presented the model box and talked through their vision for the show.
As our show is performed by a cast of actor musicians, week 1 primarily consisted of the cast learning music, co-orchestrated by Sarah Travis and Charlie Ingles. Choreographer Tom Jackson Greaves started by working one on one with Gemma Sutton playing Charity to choreograph the opening of the show. Week 1 ended with a read & play through with the whole company.
We began week 2 by starting to stage the show. Choreographer Tom Jackson Greaves staged the iconic ‘Big Spender’. It’s a demanding number with cast members, playing, singing and dancing and the first run of the number proved electric. It’s incredible to watch Tom work with the cast and see the way he weaves the musicianship into the storytelling so seamlessly. Paul (director), Sarah (musical supervisor) and Tom (choreographer) have a brilliant way of working together and are constantly finding new ways to add musical beats and movement to the storytelling. It makes for a playful and collaborative atmosphere in the room. We continued dancing, singing, playing and acting our way through act 1 and the week ended with a stumble through of everything covered so far in our very warm rehearsal room.
With 6 air conditioning units added to the room, week 3 began with staging two big numbers ‘Rhythm of Life’ and ‘Rich Man’s Frug.’ Musical Supervisor Sarah Travis has integrated a drum pad to ‘Rich Man’s Frug’ giving it a much more modern, electronic feel. It’s a beautifully stylish and full number. We continued to work our way through the play discovering ways to move quickly between locations and characters. We explored Charity’s journey and Gemma Sutton (playing Charity) talked about the enduring optimism and faith her character maintains and it’s become apparent how ultimately heart-breaking that is to watch. We explored the world of the Fandango Ballroom and the attitude of the girls who work within it. This springs to life in the number ‘There’s Gotta Be Something Better Than This’ where we see the characters Nickie and Helene dream of a better life with a hilarious and poignant self-awareness.
By the end of week 3 the stamina of the cast has truly been tested, having made our way through all the big dance numbers and some of the larger scenes. I’ve been bowled over by the positivity and talent of this company and can’t wait to see the pieces of the puzzle come together in week 4.
Sweet Charity opens on Thursday 26 July to Saturday 15 September. To find out more and book tickets click here.