Lyric life

Seventeen Rehearsal Blog: Everything’s coming together

Assistant Director Paloma Oakenfold on Seventeen Rehearsals
Blog #3

It’s the last week in the rehearsal room before tech week and it’s been a week of tightening cues, oiling dance routines, sharpening pace and strengthening bonds between the cast.

The main thing we’ve focused on is discovering the joy and frivolity of the banter between the characters.

When we were visited by teenagers last week, one of them casually remarked, ‘We’ve got a friend and we’re a total d**k to him’. They then dismissed this as being a totally normal way to behave.

Here in lies the secret to tapping into these young minds. At seventeen you take the mick out of your friends the ENTIRE time!

They constantly pock apart, mock, tear down – but all of it with a smile, unintended to hurt the recipient. It’s just what they do. It’s almost like the better the friend, the more brutal your comments can be.

It’s hard to get your head around this as an adult and on the page the comments read as cruel. But we kept reminding ourselves…This is Whittet, not Ibsen!

The first half is now light and bounces along playfully. In my mind Seventeen is like a cappuccino: the first few sips frothy, sweet, covered in chocolate sprinkles, but as the sips go on WHAM! You are hit with the potent punch of the dark underneath.

Thursday was a big day as the company took a look at the set for the first time. The floor had arrive. Simpson yellow, made of that corky, rubbery stuff they use in playgrounds (ever since wood-chips were deemed unsafe).

It went from being in a rehearsal room to a proper playground ready to get our teen on in.

During the run on Friday, there wasn’t a dry eye in the audience. Ronny’s final scene was unlocked. Beautiful in its simplicity.

Mike Grady’s courage to trust Matthew’s (Whittet) words, gave the most heartbreaking insight into Ronny as a human at such a lonely time in his life.

The run went fantastically well and we finished for the week with a spring in our step.

Bring on next week’s Tech Rehearsals I say!

Paloma x

See Paloma’s next blog here and previous blog here.