My latest blog for Public reviews as part of a series following the Epsilon Summer Season at Park Theatre – this time on the challenges of a quick technical turnaround (and a special ticket deal!) Read the original here
Last Sunday we said goodbye to the wonderful women and the simple but beautiful set of Crystal Springs and a mere couple of hours later, thanks to our brilliant design and production team the world forChicken Shop was up! Our new cast members, John Last, Millie Reeves and Jesse Rutherford settled themselves in alongside the continuing team Lucy Roslyn and Angela Bull in the Park dressing rooms and green room, whilst joining designer Florence Hazard set about finishes touches. Our production manager and new stage manager Chris Silvester is continuing the excellence set by Peter Lambert (SMCrystal Springs) and a whole new set of warm-up activities now occur each night for the company. Our one and only preview was a blast and then to a packed house for Press night we opened. There was laughter, there were tears and there was even a call for a second bow! The reviews are still coming in some of which you can read here
There is something strange and beautiful in watching a set being dismantled in order to make way for a new one, especially if the second one is also your own. Elements of the Crystal Springs set have been incorporated into the Chicken Shop design and some parts donated to other shows happening in the next months. It is important to Epsilon that there is little waste and where possible we keep environmentally friendly, all set and costume is re-used or donated to other shows and theatres. Come check out Chicken Shop if you saw the first and guess where the old set is!
Rehearsing one show whilst performing and producing in another is exhausting and exhilarating. It isn’t so much about juggling, or even time management as much as it is about trusting in the company around you and keeping communications clear. With two shows dealing with dark and difficult themes such as cyber-bullying and trafficking, a lot of time was also spent hugging; After a difficult scene, after a funny one, after a bad meeting, a stressful phone call- sometimes just because. I completely shocked my Chicken ShopCompany after we had managed, unbelievably, to fit in a technical run after only one day in the theatre. The Park technical team, the TOAST team, the lovely office ladies- the whole building rang with the rumour of what we had achieved in such a short amount of time. I was completely overwhelmed by the awesomeness of them all that I simply cried. For a few scary moments they all thought I hated the show, but I was simply blown away, yet again, by the brilliance of actors who amongst chaos and crazy draw you into a story and make you fall in love with them and it.
As the second half of our season adventure continues the blogs for The Pubic Reviews will keep coming; from our designer Florence Hazard, our Chicken Shop actors and from our Producer Angela Bull. As a special thank you to our Public Reviews readers for following this journey with us, we are offering a discount rate to see Chicken Shop. Book Online using the code CHICKEN to get £15 tickets.