Angel Exit Theatre have been with us in the Sherling Studio for the last three weeks, working on their new play The Drive, which is produced in association with Lighthouse.  This week there's an exciting opportunity to catch a preview performance of The Drive before it heads off on a short tour of the south west followed by a run at the Edinburgh Fringe.  

The Drive recounts an unexpected Nordic road trip which sees two estranged friends thrown together on a tense journey from London to Oslo. The further Becky and Nat get from home the closer they come to confronting the demons of their shared past.

Spliced through with humour, slick physicality, an original contemporary soundtrack and video projection, The Drive is a show about friendship, grief, the fragility of memory, turning 40 and coming of age in the 1990s. It also looks at who owns the truth when something can’t be proven.

Co-Directors Lynne Forbes and Tamsin Fessey describe the journey they have been on to bring this play to the stage and give us few clues on what to expect this Friday ...

 

"We're at the slightly scary stage where you start to realise what shape the show will have and how good it could be if only you had another two weeks. But the reality is that we only have one week, and every person in the rehearsal begins to kick into overdrive to try and get everything ready and finished for the first preview. We've spent time with our composer, Tom, listening to the amazing selection of work he has done for us and deciding which track will play at which moment, how long it needs to be and how it needs to start and finish. We've been through lots of video footage with our projection designer, Elliot, deciding which clips we will use, where they will be projected and what effects he will now put on them. We've tried on lots of variations of costumes for the two characters, Becky and Nat, and our poor designer Yoon and her assistants Alex and Hannah have been running around Poole and Bournemouth buying things, bringing them to the theatre for us to try and then returning then until they have honed the perfect outfit which encapsulates the character. Meanwhile Matt our stage manager has built the set designed by Yoon and is now in the process of painting it (late into the night). Each day we arrive into the studio the set has undergone another transformation and gradually everything is coming together. 

In terms of the action, we have been all the way through the play now, quite loosely, and we're going back through it doing more detailed work now. Often we arrive in the morning saying we're going to look at five scenes that day and lunchtime arrives and we're still on the first scene. The detail is what makes Angel Exit's work special I think. The transitions between scenes, the coordination between the storytellers, the choreography and work with objects, and in this show, the work with projection. All of this takes time. Add to this the fact that our script is constantly changing and being updated and all of this makes it quite nerve wracking for us as performers. We frequently ask ourselves why we chose to make this show/ any show/ run a theatre company/ work in theatre full stop. The answer is that every morning I wake up and walk through Poole Park full of excitement to arrive in the focussed studio space and work out how to tell our story. 

We're at the slightly scary stage where you start to realise what shape the show will have and how good it could be if only you had another two weeks. But the reality is that we only have one week, and every person in the rehearsal begins to kick into overdrive to try and get everything ready and finished for the first preview. We've spent time with our composer, Tom, listening to the amazing selection of work he has done for us and deciding which track will play at which moment, how long it needs to be and how it needs to start and finish. We've been through lots of video footage with our projection designer, Elliot, deciding which clips we will use, where they will be projected and what effects he will now put on them. We've tried on lots of variations of costumes for the two characters, Becky and Nat, and our poor designer Yoon and her assistants Alex and Hannah have been running around Poole and Bournemouth buying things, bringing them to the theatre for us to try and then returning then until they have honed the perfect outfit which encapsulates the character. Meanwhile Matt our stage manager has built the set designed by Yoon and is now in the process of painting it (late into the night). Each day we arrive into the studio the set has undergone another transformation and gradually everything is coming together. 

In terms of the action, we have been all the way through the play now, quite loosely, and we're going back through it doing more detailed work now. Often we arrive in the morning saying we're going to look at five scenes that day and lunchtime arrives and we're still on the first scene. The detail is what makes Angel Exit's work special I think. The transitions between scenes, the coordination between the storytellers, the choreography and work with objects, and in this show, the work with projection. All of this takes time. Add to this the fact that our script is constantly changing and being updated and all of this makes it quite nerve wracking for us as performers. We frequently ask ourselves why we chose to make this show/ any show/ run a theatre company/ work in theatre full stop. The answer is that every morning I wake up and walk through Poole Park full of excitement to arrive in the focussed studio space and work out how to tell our story. "

 

Catch the pre-Edinburgh preview performance of The Drive here at Lighthouse on Friday 7 July

Published 3 July 2017