Production Diary for Duets for Small Spaces written by the choreographer, Richard Lord
22 May 2001
I intended to launch the web site yesterday but we had DNS problems so it didn’t go live until today. There’s still a lot to do on it but there’s enough here already for people to find it useful. I’ll keep adding to it as I have time.
Meanwhile, Kate’s started work on the music. Must remember to phone her today and see how she’s getting on. Maybe I’ll drop round later in the week for a listen – depends if she has anything for me to hear.
Rosa and Jo have a good plan for the design of the space, and Rosa’s working on the costume designs. Meanwhile, I alternate between thinking about the choreography and developing the web site.
Turtle Key Arts are managing the project for me, and Charlotte over there is busy planning the marketing while we wait for the flyers and posters to arrive from the printers.
Right now everything seems to be going well. I hope it stays that way.
23 May 2001
I had a good chat with Kate about the music. She knew the Coda, which ends the dance, would be difficult so has decided to tackle it first. Because of the rhythm I’m using for this section of dance, the natural tendency is for the music to be heavy like a dirge. She played me a bit of the music she’s now come up with and it sounded great. It’s now much lighter and very fluid. She only played a bit of it but it’s definitely on the right track now.
25 May 2001
The posters and flyers arrived from the printers today. They look really good – I’m very pleased. Very big thank you to Simon who took the photos and to Neil who helped me design the posters & flyers. In fact, Neil did most of the designing; I just came up with the original concept and wrote the copy.
30 May 2001
I was pleased to hear from Antonio, director of the Blue Elephant Theatre, that the TicketWeb facility was activated today. So tickets can now be bought using credit cards – on-line and by phone.
Little else has been happening. I took the weekend off - it was my father’s birthday and we had a big party for him. But now it’s back to work. I have meetings with Rosa and Jo this week, and whatever else may crop up. Meanwhile, I hope to fill all the gaps in this website by the weekend.
1 June 2001
Very bad news. Marcia has an injury – attained during her current job. Like many small dance companies, the company require the dancers to help rig the set, and Marcia injured her hip doing this. She wasn’t even dancing.
Marcia finishes the job in a week, and then has a week off before we start working, so hopefully she’ll be fine by then. Just have to wait and see what the doctor says. I really can’t imagine doing this production with a different dancer.
4 June 2001
I met with Rosa today to look at some sketches for the costumes. She’s going in a direction I hadn’t envisaged, but it’s interesting. She showed me five sketches of different ideas for the woman’s costume and I gave her my thoughts, many of which were positive. But the designs seem too elaborate, and I’m not sure about the colour. I need to dwell on it a little longer.
Rosa’s going to draw up a new design for the woman and a design for the man to show me on Wednesday.
6 June 2001
I met with Rosa again today to look at some new drawings for the costumes. The woman’s costume is looking better, while the man’s needs more work. She’ll do some more work on it and get some fabric samples to show me next week.
Meanwhile, we have a minor problem because the person who was going to make the costumes is now unavailable because of other work. So we’re looking around for someone who knows about making costumes for dance. I’m sure we’ll find someone, it’s just another little worry on my mind.
12 June 2001
I went to see Kate this morning. The music is coming on, and I like it. We talked a lot about the project, the different sections, how they might look and sound. We each suggested some new ideas to each other for the sections – ideas ranging from what makes a perfect relationship to how one feels when betrayed.
I felt great afterwards because the ideas were flowing, and I’m pleased and happy about how the music is turning out. The last section, which Kate was struggling with, is now a lot more fluid and evocative than before. And we’ve solved one problem – how to start the second half. But I won’t tell you the solution; that would spoil the show. You’ll just have to come and see it.
13 June 2001
I went to see Rosa this afternoon. She’s just got back from a short trip to Venice, which gave us both time to ponder the costumes. We talked about some more ideas. It’s not that I don’t like the ideas she had, I’m just not convinced it’s right for this production. So we kicked it around a bit, the ideas developed further, and I’m happier about it now. I’ll wait to see the finished designs.
Sometimes I worry that I get too involved in these other aspects of the project – ideally I want to let each artist get on with what they’re good at. But I’ve never worked with Rosa before so it’s hard just to leave her be, trusting that all will be well. It’s much easier with Kate because we worked together a couple of years ago during the research for this project so I know she understands the project and its easier to trust her vision.
14 June 2001
Marcia’s injury is improving, but it’s not right yet. She’s been taking it easy this week. But because her last job was physical theatre, and didn’t involve so much dance, she’s worried she isn’t fit enough for my project and is torn between resting the injury and exercising to get in shape.
15 June 2001
We had a production meeting this morning. Kate unfortunately couldn’t come – her computer stopped working yesterday, and it had all the music on it, so she had to go and get it fixed today. It’s working again, and the music is fine. Phew.
So Charlotte, Rosa, Marcia, Phil and I had a meeting, to discuss the production and sort out a lot of the logistics. Rosa showed us her final costume designs. The woman’s costume is gorgeous, but they still seem too showy for such a natural, intimate production as this.
Then Marcia, Phil and I went down to the theatre so they could see the space they’ll be dancing in. We talked lots about various aspects of the production, including the costumes about which they reinforced my view.
17 June 2001
I had another meeting with Rosa today. We discussed the costumes she’s designed and decided, despite them being gorgeous, they’re not right for the production. We’re trying to create an atmosphere of intimacy and naturalness and the costumes were too unusual. So we’ve decided to buy clothes for the dancers to wear, rather than making them. Which means a trip down Oxford Street one day soon.
18 June 2001
We had our first rehearsal today. It was good being back at Chat’s Palace with Marcia and Phil. We all get on so well together the rehearsals are usually fun. Kate met us at the start, and we chatted about all the new ideas since the research we did a couple of years ago. Back then, we spent a couple of weeks exploring the ideas I had for this project, and we developed 30 minutes of dance, with varying degrees of roughness.
So today we started by relearning and improving one of the sections we developed then. It’s about abuse within relationships, and we call it Abuse1 (there is an Abuse2 as well). We developed a stronger motivation for the movement, and created a new and much stronger ending. And we tinkered around with a few other bits too. It was good before; now it looks even better. A good days work by all.
19 June 2001
I didn’t sleep well last night so was very tired this morning. In today’s rehearsal we briefly revisited yesterday’s work and then got on with some new stuff. I want to make a section of the dance about the physical games that people who are familiar with each other play together. So we started talking about game playing and went off on a long discussion about why men seem to enjoy computer games much more than women.
Then somewhere along the way we started talking about honesty, openness, fetishes and a whole lot more. We did quite a lot of dancing too, starting with some improvised gameplay which was great and very entertaining for me watching it. But when I started to set the movement much of the spark went out of it, as Marcia and Phil started dancing instead of playing. So we’re going to try structured improvisation for this section.
I have many reservations about improvisation in performances – mainly because it rarely works well. Most improvisations contain too much rubbish amongst the few effective moments. But I’ve never personally tried using improvisation in performance before, so we’re going to follow this path for a little while and see how it goes. Maybe next week I’ll decide it doesn’t work and will set the choreography, or maybe it will work brilliantly.
20 June 2001
We touched on a lot of things in today’s rehearsal, trying some ideas for different sections of the work interspersed with frank conversations about our own relationships, past and current. It’s this real-life experience that forms the backbone to much of this work so, for example, an hour or more spent chatting about sex is a vital part of developing the work.
We’re having to be careful this week as Marcia is still nursing an injury, so we can’t get on with some of the more physically demanding work that I want to do. That will wait until next week.
21 June 2001
Phil has a bad cold and can’t dance, which is a problem. So I did some work with Marcia this morning, then in the afternoon we went shopping for costumes in Selfridges. We met Rosa there and Phil and Marcia tried on many clothes before we decided what to buy. They look great. But I won’t describe them – you’ll have to come to the show to see what they look like.
I’m also a little worried about Marcia’s hip. She assures me it’s getting better, and while we work it seems to be, but when she cools down it’s clearly painful, and she was limping as we were shopping this afternoon. I just hope it will be alright.
22 June 2001
Phil couldn’t dance again today so I worked with just Marcia. Because this production is so much about the two of them, there’s a limit to how much we can do without Phil. And Marcia had an appointment with a therapist to work on her hip this afternoon. So we stopped rehearsals at lunchtime and I went to see Kate to see how the music is coming along.
The section about gameplay, called TV, is based on work we did in the research period two years ago. But it will now be completely different. Unfortunately, due to poor communication, Kate wasn’t aware of this and she has made a piece of music to match the way the dance was before. Oops. But the new music may work anyway – we’ll see. The rest of the music seems to be going well.
Also today, Charlotte was driving around London delivering flyers to companies who will be mailing them out to their mailing lists. So the news about the production should be spreading soon.
23 June 2001
I did a radio interview today on LBC – a programme called London Lovematch. They said they wanted to talk to me about this project, but it turned out they really wanted to talk to me about whether social dancing is a good way to meet the love of your life. Oops, some researcher made a big mistake there. I tried to keep my sense of humour and go with the direction of the programme but being caught off balance by the questioning I never really got in the swing of it. Very disappointing.
25 June 2001
Week 2 of rehearsals. Marcia’s hip caused her problems at the weekend. And what brought on the pain – walking. None of the doctors, physiotherapists and osteopaths she’s seen seem able to tell her what she should and shouldn’t do to help it, which means a lot of worry as we wonder whether it will improve. It looks like she’ll have no problem with the performances, it’s just the strain of the longer hours and repetition of movement in the rehearsals that may be a problem and the worrying is holding us back from working as hard as we'd like.
Phil’s back and almost recovered from his cold, so Marcia and I taught him what we did on Friday, then I pushed on with their solos. Each of them has a short solo which forms the basis for a section about the give and take as two people start a relationship and find ways to bring their two lives together, with some aspects integrated together and others remaining solo activities.
Kate came in at the end of the day and we showed her everything we’ve done so far.
26 June 2001
I decided not to use improvisation for the TV section. It’s too random whether a performance of it works well or not. So I’m going to set it all, and started on that today. I set about two thirds of it and hope to finish it tomorrow. This section is very tiring for the dancers, so there’s a limit to how much we can do each day.
At Chat’s Palace they have a workshop out the back of the dance studio, so occasionally people have to walk through the studio while we are rehearsing. Today, Phil and Marcia were writhing around on the floor as they tried out one bit of the dance, and it was entertaining to see a man walking through the studio studiously not looking at the dancers, apparently because it was embarrassing to see such flagrant sexuality.
27 June 2001
Tried to finish off the TV section today, but there are too many possibilities so I’ve decided to save the final decision on what option to go for until after some quiet reflection this evening. Other than that it’s set, but it needs a lot of rehearsal to get the performance of it right.
Also, did some work on the Give & Take section, which is developing into a lovely little dance piece. More on that another time.
28 June 2001
Today I did finish the TV section. And I also cleaned it up a lot, clarifying the movement. There’s more to do, but for now it’s time to push on. I’ll clean everything up in the last week or so of rehearsals.
We also re-learnt Sunday. This is the last section to be reworked from the research period two years ago. Most of the movement material in it is great, but it needs a clearer structure. So having re-learnt the work as it was then, I shall now restructure it into a new and hopefully improved form.
I worked late into the evening, making CDs of all the music we have so far for the dancers, and making a video of all the choreography for Kate. Bet I’m tired tomorrow.
29 June 2001
We started today by revising a lot of the work we’ve done before. The two sections on abuse are getting confusing so we spent a while clarifying them.
After lunch, Kate came to see us and we showed her some of the work, particularly the TV and Give & Take sections for which she hasn’t yet composed the music.
Kate also brought us the music for a new section, about Anxiety. I already had a lot of very clear ideas for this section, so now having the music I spent the afternoon creating this section. The dancers got it straight away and by the end of the day the section was made. Sometimes you can struggle for days over one little bit, and other times a whole four minutes just works first time.
2 July 2001
Back to work, after a weekend in which I spent most of the time sleeping. Marcia feels that her hip is much improved. It’s caused no problems for over a week and she feels strong.
Today was hard work for us all. I reworked Sunday into its new form, and it looks a lot better. As well as changing some of the less interesting bits of movement, I restructured the work to create a simple and recognisable form, in keeping with the ideas for the section. Sunday is a relaxed, easy day when even flawed relationships can seem perfect. This is a very tiring section to dance so unsurprisingly Phil and Marcia were tired afterwards.
We had a break and then I went on to develop more for Give & Take. So by the end of the day we were exhausted and a little hysterical. But it was tiredness that resulted from a good day’s work.
Then in the evening Marcia phoned to say that her hip was playing up badly. After the good feeling earlier in the day this was a blow. She’s going to see the therapist tomorrow morning before rehearsals. Wait and see.
Also in the evening I rewrote the press release. I wasn’t happy with the first release that Charlotte sent out – it said all the right stuff but it didn’t sound the way I would say it and with such a personal project every detail matters to me. So I rewrote it and sent the new one to Charlotte. This will be sent out with invitations to the press night in the first week of performances.
I was also looking at the video of Give & Take until the small hours of the morning, finding a solution to the problems there are with it. And as always, after days of sweat and toil, and much thought, the solution appears as if from nowhere. In fact the solution is built on all the previous work, but it seems such a leap forward because it’s right, when all the previous ideas were not.
3 July 2001
At last we have an answer to Marcia’s injury. The therapist explained what it is and the solution is exercise. Far from not dancing, what she needs is to dance. Just make sure she warms up well beforehand. So that’s good news.
Her hip was tender today, so after yesterday’s exhaustion, I decided to go easier. I worked out some changes to Give & Take yesterday evening, so I taught that to the Phil and Marcia and that’s another section finished. It’s the longest part of the show, and still needs a lot of rehearsal, but I am confident it will be great.
Then we spent the afternoon trying ideas for two new sections. One is Dialogue, in which the dancers perform in the manner of a conversation, watching (listening to) each other and then responding with movement of their own. It’s interesting, quirky and I rather like the way it’s going. It’s built on the structure of a spoken conversation, taken from a play (The Lover) by Harold Pinter. The audience don't hear the words, but the dancers imagine they are speaking them as they dance which gives the dance its rhythm and form.
4 July 2001
We finished the Dialogue section this morning. Like everything else, it needs some more rehearsing but the choreography is finished.
After lunch, we did a little dancing in the costumes to see how they move and they’re good, as expected. So that’s fine.
I was very tired today, which made me a little mischievous. Marcia noticed the glint in my eye. One other thing that can happen when I’m tired is that I stop thinking in such a focused way, and new ideas just seem to pop into my head. They were probably there already, I just wasn’t listening to them. One idea today was how to make the Drifting section work on a small stage. So we started on that this afternoon. Drifting is about drifting apart in a relationship and is one of the three sections I have left to do, so we’re on target (just) to be finished by the end of next week.
5 July 2001
We did a lot of work on the Betrayal section today. Unlike most of the other sections, Betrayal was initiated by Kate. She suggested doing a section about betrayal and then produced some sketches for a piece of music for it. I liked the idea and so she’s finished the music and now we are making a dance to go with it – the reverse of most of the sections, where I’ve made the dance first and Kate has made music to accompany the dance.
When Kate played the music for this section, I immediately envisaged a scenario for the dance. You could say I was inspired by the music. So today I presented this scenario to the dancers, we kicked it around a bit, tried some ideas, and completed much of it. The beginning and end are great, but the bit in the middle needs some work.
Also, this evening, we got permission to use the music for the two Abuse sections. This is the only piece of music in the show not composed by Kate. It’s by David Lang and in the recording we have Kate is one of the musicians playing it. It’s perfect for this section and there is no point in Kate composing something similar when David has already done it. Today we got emails from David and from his music publishers giving us permission to use the work.
6 July 2001
This morning I finished off the Betrayal section. Then this afternoon I did more work on Drifting. This section is now completed but is very rough and needs a lot of work before we can perform it. The movement is quite awkward, and so it will take a while for Phil and Marcia to feel and look comfortable dancing it. Not that I want them to look too comfortable – if I wanted that I’d use movement which is less awkward. I want them to look more comfortable than they do now. It’s a difficult balance to achieve.
And now it’s the weekend, and next week there’s only one more section to do, then lots of cleaning and rehearsal.
7 July 2001
I spent all afternoon with Kate, going over all the music, talking over what is still to do, etc. We kicked around some rather strange, and in one instance very surreal, ideas for music for the TV section before deciding on which to go with. Kate played me some unfinished ideas for Give & Take, which I think will work, and the finished music for Dialogue, which sounds great.
I like working with Kate because, together with liking each other, we also trust each other. And an afternoon spent together planning the music and dance for this production is fun.
8 July 2001
It’s Sunday, and I wish I could relax. But I have to plan the last week’s rehearsals. It’s in the closing stages when I feel I work the hardest and earn the title of choreographer. Until now, I’ve been working with the dancers to put together dance to convey the ideas and emotions of each section of the production. Now, in the final week, I shall be refining the work to ensure that each movement counts, that there are no wasted moments, and that each phrase communicates just what I want it to communicate. The production will never be perfect – no production is – but I won’t stop trying to make it perfect.
But first, with sixteen sections of dance, on varied themes to do with relationships, I have to assemble them into the right order for the show. So that’s what I spent much of today doing. Did you know there are 20,922,789,888,000 different possible combinations of these sixteen sections? Fortunately I didn’t have to try them all before arriving at the one I like. So now we have the running order. Also today I have planned much of what I’ll do in rehearsals next week.
9 July 2001
We tried out some new music from Kate today – music for Dialogue, TV, and Give & Take. All of which worked very well. TV was particularly satisfying after Kate’s and my long debate on Saturday. While trying out the music, I also did some cleaning of these sections, making a few changes to clarify the intent.
Then we tried to choreograph the last remaining section, called Sex. As you might imagine, this is about sex. It seems ridiculous to do a production about relationships without a section about sex, but I don’t want the production to feel sleazy or anything. Which poses a challenge – create a section about sex – the reality not the fantasy – without using crude devices like depicting two people having sex. My answer, arrived at a couple of weeks ago, is to create something abstract and sculptural about the aesthetics of sex. But when we first tried to make it the work aggravated Marcia’s injury, so we put it on hold for a while. We tried again to make it today, avoiding movement which was likely to cause problems, and still her injury, which is playing up at the moment, was aggravated. So once more it’s on hold.
Also, Marcia will be seeing her doctor tomorrow to check up on the diagnosis she’s received on the injury.
10 July 2001
My worst fears are realised. Marcia saw a doctor at her surgery and it appears that the diagnosis of her osteopath was incorrect. The osteopath said her body was out of line and she should keep mobile and continue to dance since this would strengthen her body and realign her. This morning she was told she has a slipped disc and mustn’t dance for six weeks.
This obviously causes problems with this production since we are due to open in a week’s time. So this morning, while Phil and Marcia were phoning around the dancers they know to find someone to cover for Marcia, Charlotte and I were phoning around doctors we know to get an expert opinion. The strange thing – Marcia feels fine while she dances, the problems mostly occur when she stops. If I drop the Sex section, she feels capable of doing the rest of the show. But if it will harm her then she mustn’t.
So this afternoon Marcia and Charlotte when to see a specialist while I went home to make a copy of the music and the video of the rehearsals to pass on to whomever would replace her if that was necessary.
The diagnosis from the specialist – a slipped disc. Don’t dance.
Fortunately Phil had contacted a dancer/friend whom he’s worked with before, and whom I know because she was at dance school with me, and she can do the show (she’s working with Adventures in Motion Pictures but is currently between productions). Her name is Vicky Evans, she’s a great dancer, and being a friend of Phil’s and having danced with him before I know they will get on fine. So I went around to Phil’s house to meet Vicky (she lives nearby). I told her all about the production (she was going to come and see it next Monday), showed her the video, talked about the work that needs doing etc. and she wants to do it. So tomorrow we start rehearsing with Phil and Vicky. Marcia will be there to help out. And we will be working very hard.
We’ve decided to cancel the first two nights to give Vicky more time to learn the work, so now the opening night will be Wednesday 18th July. Which means the theatre will try to track down everyone who has tickets for Monday or Tuesday and offer them another night. And we’ll be working through the weekend to be ready. But I’m confident we can do it. Teaching work which is already choreographed is very much quicker than choreographing new work, and the choreography was almost finished. I wouldn’t put something on stage if I didn’t think it was ready to be seen.
11 July 2001
What a day. In one day, Vicky has learnt three of the hardest sections of the dance – Sunday, Drifting & the Coda. It was very exhausting for us all, but particularly Vicky whose brain and body were working relentlessly to learn the work and for Phil who spent all day dancing with her without the stop-start format and drawn out breaks that pepper a usual days work. Marcia came in and helped teach Vicky the work too.
It was hard for me, seeing Vicky dancing work I’d made with and for Marcia, but harder still for Marcia seeing someone else dance her part. At one point she said it’s like seeing someone else wearing her clothes – an understatement I expect. But Vicky is doing a brilliant job and I’m feeling that the production almost back on track. We’ll be rehearsing over the weekend, and the goal is to teach the entire production to Vicky by the end of Saturday, so we then have a few days to rehearse it before the opening next Wednesday.
12 July 2001
Today, Vicky learnt Give & Take – the longest section in the production. This was tough for her because the movement is designed for Marcia’s way of moving, but Vicky now knows the movement and with a little more practice it will work. This is my favourite section of the production – a complex build up of interaction between the two dancers that reveals something of the complexity involved in successful relationships.
This whole project is different from the work Vicky has been doing recently – moving from the big venues used by Adventures in Motion Pictures to a small, intimate venue is a challenge. The small venue requires a different attitude to communicate with the audience, and the temptation to overact has to be suppressed.
13 July 2001
After today, Vicky has learnt most of the dance. There’s only a little more to learn tomorrow and then we can start refining it.
Also today, I picked up a new costume to fit Vicky and Kate brought round the final music, having spent all day in the studio doing the final mix. Because we haven’t yet done the Sex section I had to give Kate an approximate timing for the music and then will work with her finished piece tomorrow, fitting the dance to the music rather than the other way round.
14 July 2001
Diamond Dance have given us time in their studio to rehearse today. We started the day by creating Sex. It was refreshing to create a section for Vicky and Phil rather than teaching Vicky Marcia’s part. If you have been reading the rest of this diary you’ll know that we couldn’t finish this section because of Marcia’s injury. So now at least Vicky has one section created for her.
Vicky also learnt the remaining section of the dance so now she (tentatively) knows the whole show. We finished with me talking through the whole show; taking Vicky through the meaning, purpose, and most important aspects of each section, how they need to be performed, and what makes them work or fail. This is what Vicky needs to get in the next few days for the performances to work.
Then we all went home and I had my first evening off since last weekend.
15 July 2001
The dancers had the day off today, but not me. I was at the Blue Elephant Theatre with Rosa and Indira (our technician) painting the whole space a different colour. I’m not very keen on black boxes for dance, and it isn’t right for this production, so with four large tins of paint and a bevy of rollers and brushes we’ve transformed the space into something else.
But I really could have used a day off.
16 July 2001
We rehearsed in the theatre today. First we adapted the sections which rely most on the shape and features of the space itself to make them work in this theatre, then we left for lunch while Ali and Graham finished laying the dance floor – because the Blue Elephant don’t often stage dance productions they don’t have a sprung floor so we are installing a temporary one of our own.
In the afternoon we marked through, talked over, and then ran the whole first half of the show. And it went very well indeed – better than I dared expect. This is going to work.
17 July 2001
We rehearsed in the theatre again today. In the morning we marked through, talked over, and then ran the second half. This went well, but was a little flat.
But then in the afternoon we ran the whole show and it was brilliant. Vicky and Phil were amazing and the production itself was great. We have a good show on our hands, and it will work when we open tomorrow.
18 July 2001
Opening night and very scary. We did a run through in the afternoon to settle in the space, then relaxed nervously until the evening.
We had a good audience for the evening, including many friends, and the show was a big success. It’s physically, mentally and emotionally demanding of the dancers, and Vicky and Phil were brilliant. It touched all the audience, provoking tears and laughter and apparently leaving everyone feeling great.
To finish the evening on the right note, two visitors from Japan were in the audience and presented Vicky with a very large bunch of flowers at the end. Perfect.
Why do I choreograph? – the mixture of fear, excitement, and vulnerability is stimulating, and to touch an audience as we did today makes all the troubles and stress melt away.
After a few drinks, I went home and collapsed into bed looking forward to my first lie-in in a long time.
21 July 2001
The end of the first week and it’s gone very well. The audience numbers have varied from high to low on different evenings, but all have clearly enjoyed the show enormously, which is the most important and satisfying thing. Hopefully, with word of mouth and newspaper reviews, numbers will increase next week.
Meanwhile, I’ve made one major change to the piece. It’s often different when I see it on the opening night, and I realised that the Coda – a short waltz – wasn’t working. It’s intended to convey the continuity of the relationship but instead is such a contrast to what has gone before it just confuses people. So I’ve removed it (it’s only 3 minutes long so the show isn’t significantly shorter). Which is funny because it’s the section which Phil had most trouble learning and for which Kate had most trouble getting the music right. Now, when they’ve got it right, I’ve cut it.
28 July 2001
The end of the second performance week and it’s still going very well. Vicky has settled in to the production now and is clearly a lot more comfortable with the work. Performances this week were very good, although by the end of the week the dancers were very tired. Performing every night is tough and the current heatwave hasn’t helped.
On Tuesday, we had a great review published in the Metro (see the reviews section) which boosted audience numbers later in the week. Lots of people have said they’re coming next week, which is good. Meanwhile, it’s disappointing when the people who do come love the show but we have room for many more to see it.
5 August 2001
Yesterday was the last night. It’s been a good week, with larger audiences and a very enthusiastic response. Overall I’m very pleased with how the production has gone. We’ve had our difficulties and overcame them well, and while audience numbers have been disappointing, those that came had a very enjoyable evening and were very positive about the show. Pleased audiences is what it’s all about and in that respect this has been a great success. I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.
We hope to book a tour of the production for next year, more details of which will appear on this site. Until then, goodbye and best wishes.
Update, November 2001
Marcia's injury has never healed and it has finally been diagnosed correctly. It's not a slipped disc, a body missalignment, or anything else that has been suggested. Marcia has a brain tumour that is pressing against the nerves that go to her hip and leg. It's devastating news for Marcia and we're all just hoping for a miracle. It's hard to face the reality of what this means.
Update, September 2013
Marcia passed away recently. Thanks to chemotherapy, radiotherapy, some great doctors and her own will to live, she has enjoyed another 12 years of life. Marcia was a beautiful person and a beautiful dancer and will be missed by all who knew her. I was fortunate to have known her, worked with her, and been her friend.