Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Into rehearsals

I've been neglecting the blog (a bit of an understatement as it's six months since I've posted), but things have been moving on and we're now in rehearsals. The script has continued developing, and is now at a stage where I feel very happy to go into rehearsal with it. The big step happened in August, when I followed Katherine's suggestion (see previous posting) and started again with the structure. The first couple of drafts had pretty faithfully followed the structure of the book, but I decided to now had to find the theatrical structure for it. I started by cutting up the previous draft into sectional units - some units were just short paragraphs, others longer. After I had cut the book up (literally - I had lots of slips of paper each marked with unit titles), I grouped them together thematically and then began filtering out - looking for repetitions, and balancing them up: if two units said the same thing, which one said it better? I then plotted out a new structure from this material, grouping the piles of paper and then, finally, re-edited. The result was a far more theatrically coherent structure.

Over the next few months I progressively cut, reviewed, cut again, re-structured and reviewed until I had 11 pages of text (the first draft had been 32 pages) that read at about 40 minutes and seemed to be at a stage where putting it on stage seemed feasible.

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