Tim leads us through a very funny warm-up which gets me chuckling – our first task is in Knee boxing – in pairs we must use our palms to hit our opponents knees – I am paired with Lowri who puts me to shame – she is a regular Muhammed Knoberly Knees, a Cassius Cartiledge– I'm not suggesting that her knees are really knobberly I use it purely for the pun.
Our next warm up game is to use our left index finger as a weapon to poke in the small of our opponents back. This time I'm paired with Tim who is a true Swash Backerler, A count of Monte Chiropractito and gets me several times – I think I would be a rubbish fighter.
Finally we must choose a character from the show and think of a sound and movement for that character this sound and movement is then repeated by all the remaining five in the circle who exaggerate and mutate as they go until the original sound and movement maker gets last say in doing the final exaggerated version. All the characters are taken so I choose The String Machine Thingy as my character and personify it as a knee and elbow spinning chugger.
Now thoroughly warmed up – rehearsals begin in the Dame Judi Studio at the Unicorn. All the props and set are in the performance space so the actors are asked to do a high charged, guerrilla, ham version of the show – it's not long before the characters are dancing their way across stage and finding all sorts of wonderful additions for the script.
After a manic and very very entertaining hammed version of the show the cast are asked to do a line run. Its a new experience hearing the show just read– especially at the start when both Lowri an Jumoke are reading over one another as they introduce some imaginary children into the space. Though they are restrained by their chairs there is no shortage of animation from the actors as they gesticulate and find new positions to pull their mouths into.
The weather is taking a hold as actor hold various flu and cold beating concoctions Jumoke has elixir de ginger – a water bottle with raw ginger in side!!! Yuck, Nick has a liquorice and marshmallow root tea! and Lowri has peach cordial! What a healthy bunch.
In the afternoon I become a child and am led thorough the show – the actors do a wonderful job in entertaining my naughty child. Things are coming together and I can't wait to see it in the space.
Later in the afternoon Max holds a music rehearsal where there are harmonies and melodies aplenty. Now sitting in The Unicorn as the light fades in the Judi Dench Studio it all feels suddenly very real. By the end of the week the adults acting as youngsters will be replaced by real bona fide children and all the set will be in place – we will have to decide homes for the Stringy Bridge, Ropey Boat and Windy Path and will have the full array of strings and pulleys that make up the set. - I can't wait.
Bathing the babies in bubbles
Taken from a mothers hot bath
Scented with lavender and rose oil
Taken from hills where flowers outgrow the grass
Bubbles filled with song that never burst
That can tickle laughter from the cutest mouths
Dry the softest eyes
Bubbles that squirt out of fingers
Squash between toes
Find dirt on the back of necks
Rest in the small of backs
Find prayers on palms
And falls on knees.
Bubbles that amaze like floating eyes
Baubles of Christmas excitement
Crystal balls of joyful futures
See through suns shining but not burning
Wondrous – poptastic clear rainbow painted bubbles.
The Red Cord
There is a red cord
That should only be pulled
In times of utmost need
It's a bright cerise string
And if you pull the thing
Your need better be desperate
Because out will pop
With a great big slop
A man in day glow yellow
He'll come to your aid
And he doesn't get paid
It's emergency services man
He's got a computer that tinkles
He likes to eat winkles
At the cafe on the motorway
Whatever needs to be tackled
he doesn't get rattled
Frightened or even a little scared
He's the emergency services
A man with no vices
The emergency services man