The first week of rehearsals for ‘Sardines’ was a whirlwind to say the least. We got to know each other, danced to disco, sang along to middle of the road rock anthems, developed what feels like naturalistic chemistry between characters and most importantly tapped into a look and feel of the setting of the play: the London underground.
When you aren’t actually on the tube, recreating that space is trickier than you’d imagine. Acting as if those limitations of space, shared eye lines, stuffy carriages and awkward silences are there, all around you, takes work but we’re getting there.
There’s over 40 scenes in the play, so figuring out the pace and momentum is a challenge but by the end of the first week a real sense of authenticity with the scenes became clear. Naturally, as it’s theatre, there’s encounters with some heightened characters in the play and so we started to workshop them. Who are they? where are they going? what are they wearing? This is the most exciting part of the process for me. It feels like play time. Even if your character might not be going through a particularly good time, it feels productive to get to the roots of who the person is in the scene.
One of the highlights has been our tube chairs. Our set design is based around three original London Underground tube seats. Ours are on wheels and so figuring out how to move them, spin them, push them and yes, ride them has been beyond hilarious. Now we’re getting to grips with them they feel more like props as opposed to toys. Which helps.
As always, the first week shot by but Sardines already has a real tone to it which we think audiences will relate to and hopefully find ridiculously infectious.
The Drayton Arms, 26th June - 7th July, 7:30pm
Book your tickets here: https://www.thedraytonarmstheatre.co.uk/sardines