One Man, Two Guvnors: Assistant Director Jake’s Diary - “Act 1 already has me splitting my sides with laughter"

After studying Theatre Arts at the University of Derby (a course based in Derby Theatre) Jake is now the assistant director of One Man, Two Guvnors. Here he gives the first instalment of his weekly diary about how rehearsals are going and explains more about his role.

Everyone needs that helping hand once in a while, especially at the start of their career in an industry already highly oversaturated. I have been blessed by Sarah Brigham (director of One Man, Two Guvnors) who has taken a leap of faith into employing me as her right-hand man, otherwise known as assistant director.

So, the first week has come and gone and we now have a rough act 1, which already has me splitting my sides with laughter. It seems strange for a lad from Essex to feel as though a show at Derby Theatre is him coming home, but after spending my undergraduate years studying in Derby Theatre at the University of Derby, it’s really wonderful to have this opportunity. On the first day of university way back in 2015, I remember a speech from Sarah about “what’s your mark”. She was talking about what is your lasting legacy and for me it has become clear (even over this first week) that it’s the opportunities you take and through my studies having a grounding in many theatre disciplines, that make the difference and I have ensured I am armed with the correct tools.

During week one of One Man, Two Guvnors rehearsals, I have found myself having conversations about costumes using the knowledge from my time at university to have an informed opinion about medial things such as ‘will that fabric give enough movement to be able to be hit over the head with a cricket bat eight shows a week?’, and other strange things that appear rather weird outside the context of theatre.

In all honesty I am playing down the fact that I am so excited to be working on this production. The first week has had a commedia dell'arte workshop by Chiara D’Anna, voice and accent workshops, fight workshops and even such things as learning how to fall down the stairs (safely). Because I have observed so many rehearsals of previous Derby Theatre productions through its open-door policy, I can be trusted to know when the right time to speak is and when isn’t.

My knowledge of the fundamentals of theatre through spending four years at Derby Theatre and my passion for creating the best theatre, is the only reason I am able to take on this opportunity and if it wasn’t for studying at Derby Theatre I wouldn’t be here now. 

One Man, Two Guvnors at Derby Theatre

Book Tickets

One Man, Two Guvnors runs at Derby Theatre from Saturday 7 - Saturday 28 September.