Productions are in full swing here at Guildhall. August is opening tonight In the Milton Court Studio Theatre, Mavra and Iolanthe are deep into rehearsals, and The Crucible is in to technical rehearsals in the Milton Court Theatre, which is being Stage Managed by 3rd Year Stage Management student Robyn Cross. Robyn was lucky enough to have a placement in the Stage Management Department of Scottish Ballet over the summer break. So before she becomes too caught up in tech to talk to me, I grabbed her to talk a little bit about what she got up to while she was there.
Guildhall SM: So tell us Robyn, what did you do while at Scottish Ballet? How long was the placement?
Robyn: Well, I was there for three weeks in total. The production I worked on was shown as two, 1 act pieces with an interval in between. The first was Called MC14/22, and the second was called Emergence. MC14/22 was inspired by St. Mark’s version of The Last Supper in the Bible, and Emergence was inspired by the idea of swarm intelligence, like in a colony of insects. But for the first week, during rehearsals, I spent a lot of time trying to source silent parcel tape! One of the dancers needed to be restrained by tape but it had to make absolutely no noise so I spent a long time sampling different tapes and testing how loud they were, making notes about it and trying to find the perfect one. Not exactly what I expected to be doing but I found a good one in the end.
GSM: Who knew it would be so difficult to find the right type of tape? Any other unusual things you had to deal with?
R: Oh I got to make mud. It had to be a really specific consistency too. So in the second week we moved to the Glasgow Theatre to tech, dress and open the show, and at one point one of the dancers needs to have mud run down his face, but it needed to slowly drip down and not poor. So a good amount of my time was spent mixing up different mud thicknesses out of compost so that it was thick enough to cling to his skin, but still watery enough to drip down over time. Every day was a bit of a challenge. It mostly worked!
GSM: And how long did it run for?
R: Only a couple of weeks. We were in the Glasgow Theatre royal for the week, and then we moved on to the Edinburgh Festival for the third and final week. It was good fun, I’m looking forward to going back.
GSM: Going back?
R: Yeah. After the Crucible closes they’re having me back for another placement starting on the 1st November. I can’t wait to see what they’ll get me doing this time.
GSM: Thanks for chatting with me Robyn, well done and I’ll let you get back to the Crucible. We all hope you have a great time at the Scottish Ballet in November.