Monday, 28 July 2014

What happens in rehearsal...

...stays in rehearsal.   Well the details of the performance do anyway, but how much rehearsing actually takes place?  I hadn't a clue before I got involved in this so here's a quick insight into what happens before the big night.
Sunset over Arran from Culzean

First up there is a LOT of rehearsing and a lot of late finishes - in the final 10 days there are rehearsals every day and several 7 hour + days.  During rehearsals there is an army of people milling around supporting us at every turn - there's security  checking us in, casting making sure we have the right bibs, stage managers answering random questions and a huge choreography team teaching us everything we need to know.  Then there's the costume team sorting our clothing, the tech team making sure the audio all works, the props guys, the folks who make sure the loos work and the incredible team who keep us all fed and watered. 
Trying to get home before I turn into a pumpkin. 


And what about the people who erected all the tents and marquees we rehearse in, the ones that mark out the pitch and the team who are instantly on hand with either sun cream or ponchos depending on the weather.  Then of course there's the management team making sure everything goes according to plan and the contact team who answer endless questions and queries in between rehearsals and communicate changes in our schedule.   Like I said, an immense team and every single one of them is friendly and supportive - we really are in very good hands so when you see us out there, doing our thang, know that we are only the tiny tip of a very large and well organised ice berg.  (And that's just rehearsals - don't even start me on all the folks getting the stadium ready for our big performance.)
Star of the opening ceremony. 

However the good folks of Scotland choose to vote in a few weeks time, there is no denying this place has a unique identify that goes way beyond haggis, tartan and Nessie - they're warm, friendly and very funny with a great self deprecating sense of humour.

All this rehearsing hasn't left a lot of time for sightseeing so I've been learning the language instead.  I had a crash course in pronunciation on my second rehearsal when I nearly ended up sleeping on the streets as my hotel was on Sauchiehall Street and I had no idea how to pronounce when I had to ask for directions ("Sookyall" in case you're wondering), and we're now camped at Culzean ("Cullain") Castle.

I've also added the following to my vocabulary:

*  Laldy - effort.  "Gie it laldy hen" = "I say young lady, do put some effort in"
*  Greetin - crying/ emotional. "Ah were greetin when ah dropped mi bottle of whisky" = "I was most upset when my bottle of Laphroaig accidentally slipped from my grasp"
*  Windie henging (Window hanging) - to lean on a balcony or windowsill chatting to the person in the tenement next door (from the days before 4G).
*  Staying - living. "Ah stay in Paisley" = "I live in Paisley on a permanent basis. "
*  Ned - Chav "D'ya see that ned over there? " = "I think I've just spotted Katie Price".

I have the luxury of a day to explore the city before rehearsals kick off at 5pm - I could stay on Delores and take it easy, but where's the fun in that?