Made of Magic

Coming to the chapel in the dark is quite an experience. A few spherical lamp-posts illuminate part of the path, leading up to the imposing figure of the chapel, its spire looming out against the twilight clouds behind. It was now only four days until our first show, and we'd come to Netley for the first tech rehearsal. We came in around the side, and, maybe it's just me, but there's a certain buzz I get from going through doors marked "staff only," and "no entry". The set looked amazing: greater and so much more Dickensian than I ever thought possible back in Eastleigh. From Bob Cratchit's desk, to the small fireplace, this really was A Christmas Carol, and it was beautiful. And this time,

No Matter How Far

A couple of days since our last rehearsal, and we were back. For one of the warm-up games, we played Bang, which is basically Splat, except you say "bang!" and can never ever compare it to Splat or you'll be automatically out. We also played bibbidi-bobbidi-boo, the game where one person stands in the middle and says "bibbidi-bobbidi-boo" to the others, and they have to say "boo" quickly or they're out. Lily chose me to go in the middle (argh the pressure!), but it was a good bit of fun. To begin with, lines had been changed around for the first possession scene, so the dead haunted crew were practicing that. After changing 'Spirit of The Story' last week, we'd need some new choreography

Know all that you can be

It was a dark and chilly 5pm when I arrived in Eastleigh for our first weekday evening rehearsal. Entering back into the world of 404 is always a magical experience, and the evening atmosphere really brought that out. For our warm up, we played a new game, the key game, in which everyone sits in a circle, with a key under someone's chair. That person must keep their eyes closed and attempt to point towards someone who has been chosen to sneakily move around the circle and take the key. As with all of the games, it got quite competitive. Kelly was astoundingly silent as she retrieved the key, and Izzy caught me out when Aidan tapped his foot to put her off, without realising that I was actual

The spirit of the story can be summoned, can be called

December was now upon us as we continued the process of smoothing out the show. Today would be our first run through without scripts, but first we'd be once again perfecting the songs, in terms of both singing and staging. As Aidan put it, "first we'll try without doing stuff and then whilst doing stuff." During this run-through, we found that the second song, 'Spirit Of The Story' was particularly slow, and so we've now made it around twice as fast, resulting in a terrific melody that'll make you want to dance along. I'd never seen Aidan's song-teaching side before, but he truly is multi-talented as he made sure we had the pitches right. Dan even remarked that our voices were fitting togeth

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Daniel Hill - T/A 404 Collective