One Man, Two Guvnors: Assistant Director Jake’s Diary - "Wow what a week!"
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 an insight into week 2 of rehearsals and what it is like to be working on a farce.
Week 2 finished, and I think I can speak for everyone when I say, ‘wow what a week!’ With the uttermost professionalism and demonstration of just how experienced she is, Sarah managed to plough through and now has a rough blocking of Act 2 as well.
In theory, we have an outline of what the whole play will look like, however, (and this is the big however) with it being a farce it isn’t as easy as that. Having spent the best part of a day and a half plotting out all the entrances and exits of every character, I can confirm that it is a challenge for everyone to know when and where they are going (there are 60+ entrances and exits in one scene alone) never mind that once actually on stage there comes the small detail of having to actually act. No, not just act but do a highly choreographed sequence of moves for maximum laughs!
When I have acted in the past or when I direct others, I say that the stakes are low, no one is going to die, it's just a bit of entertainment, it is just the same as kids playing in the park, it’s all just make-believe. This is what I would normally say, but when you are faced with fire and cricket bats being swung into people’s faces, this goes out the window, it's actually very serious. Strangely, the more comedy there is the more serious it has to be.
The thing I have taken most from my studies is the sense of learning about every department and knowing what is within the realms of possibility and knowing who are the correct people to call on. In this case there really is only one man; Ian Stapleton [Fight Director] the hero of the hour in keeping everyone safe whilst still bringing that magic to the audience.
Also during my studies, doing voice workshops and lectures meant I learnt the real value of how important it is to get the correct help with voice and accents from a specialist. There really is something so wonderful about having voice coach Anita Gilbert in again this week. Her style of there being no egos in the room and instead just creating a warm atmosphere of positivity is where the real results are achieved.
What I will say though, is that my studies never taught me the massage skills David Cardy has, the man can solve any aches or pains with his magic hands!
One Man, Two Guvnors runs at Derby Theatre from Saturday 7 - Saturday 28 September.