Third Week of Rehearsals (Freddie Watkins)

Lord of the Flies. 2011 Cast. Photo: Johan Persson

Lord of the Flies. 2011 Cast. Photo: Johan Persson

So we’ve run through the play completely now, and we are just dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s. We’ve staged it all, including the dance segments and choreography; it’s refreshing to have that in the bag. We now know exactly where we need to be on stage; therefore we’re able to find an extra layer of liberty to really play around with what we’re doing, and who we’re listening to. It’s my favourite part of the process; solidifying everything into a final piece.

What I love about doing this play is that even though we’ve physically staged it, we haven’t started any of the technical rehearsal (which is going to be a huge part of it). So there’s STILL an entire aspect of spectacle to get excited about. When Liam (Steel) says something like “Oh yeah and Freddie, this is the part where you have a massive smoking flare in your hand” or “There’ll be smoke and fire all over the stage, and strobe lighting while you’re doing this guys” you’re reminded just how epic this is going to be. I’m still excited; every day is new.

We’ve had so many fun experiences in the last three weeks. A great experience was when we were working with the Fight Director Kate (Waters), practising how to safely throw someone into a wall. To really understand the process, each person got a go as the thrower, and the rest lined up and ran round in a circle – it was a never ending cycle of being smashed into a wall. When it was Anthony’s (playing Piggy) go, Rickie shouted “PIGGY’S TAKING IT BACK”, we were suddenly no longer doing fight training, but playing out an alternative story line where the down-trodden large kid decides he’s not taking it anymore, and throws unlimited bullies effortlessly into the side of a plane. It was really powerful.

Anthony is fantastic, he’s perfect to play off of, as is Luke; they’ve got a genuine strength of character set up. Keenan (playing Simon) is massively professional; emotionally he’s far beyond his years, even though he’s the youngest in the group. The group dynamic’s great; it’s business when we’re working, but socialising in between. I can’t wait to start touring with them, they’re a fun bunch.

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