Grace Gibson teaching me how to stand in a way that looks normal.
Day 10 - First day at Soho Theatre. Spent the day building a comprehensive QLab file for the show with Robert Wells. The QLab will be operated by Ben in his role as Joz’s “assistant,” so the file needed to be intuitive, simple and easy to master. Took Robert through all the soundscapes I edited on Day 8 and reassembled them into a sequence that interacted neatly with the content of the show, hitting clear comic beats and leaving no pauses or muddy, confused moments. Did a cue-to-cue run-through with Ben to help him master the tech.
Day 11 - First day in the Upstairs space at Soho, with Ben, Robert, Miranda and Alex Hardy. Programmed the show’s lighting states into the space, and incorporated them into the QLab. More specifically choreographed the new sequence conceived on Day 9 so that it worked in the space. Figured out how to use the space itself to expand upon the content of the show, and figured out practicalities of where all props and costumes need to be hidden and retrieved from. Looked at a specific lighting effect to see if it worked to cause the intended reaction. Did a full run-through, then discussed and gave notes on it.
Day 12 - Final day of the R&D. Robert and Ben drilled tech elements of the show to get them as comfortable as possible. Worked with Grace Gibson on three specific sequences that required more choreography and movement to make the most of the internal rhythms of those sequences. Performed and filmed a full run-through for Lee Griffiths and Kat Bond, who then gave comprehensive notes, feedback and guidance for next steps. Felt proud.
A Cool New Thing In Comedy - The second series of nonsense genius Spencer Jones’s wonderful mini-sitcom The Mind Of Herbert Clunkerdunk is out on iPlayer. It co-stars legends like Lucy Pearman and Will Seaward, and is just delightful, so give it a watch.
What’s Made Me Laugh The Most - I’ve been trying not to give too many spoilers for my show in these R&D diaries, but there was a moment on Day 12 when Grace and I tried to explore the space while Robert played fart sounds at us which just resulted in both of us falling over because we were laughing too much. I know that means this section of the newsletter has been occupied by farts two weeks in a row now, but they’ve been a central part of my research.
Book Of The Week - Just started The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson, which my brother got me for Christmas. To be honest, I know nothing about it other than that she also wrote a book about falling in love with the colour blue, but the cover says it’s a “genre-bending memoir about motherhood and identity,” and that makes it sound like it’ll fit in the same world as Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy, or Deborah Levy’s living memoir trilogy, and those are two of my favourite ever reads, so I’m excited about this.
Album Of The Week - Jethro Tull just brought out a new album called The Zealot Gene. I know, right? Crazy. That’s the first full Tull album since 2003’s festive masterpiece The Jethro Tull Christmas Album. This new one has exactly the same personnel lineup as every solo album Ian Anderson has made since Jethro Tull disbanded, so I think the only reason it’s credited as a Jethro Tull album is because he needs some money, but hey, whatever. It’s not great, sadly. Jury’s still out.
Film Of The Week - Still not seen any films. Really wanna watch The Lighthouse. Anybody seen it? Is it good?
That’s all for this week! As ever, if you’ve enjoyed it I’d love to hear your thoughts, or for you to send it to a friend or recommend people to subscribe. Take care of yourselves, and see you next time,
PS Here’s me and Ben at the Soho, making this show.