CHOKE: The Rehearsal Process

DAY ONE: CHOKE written by Daisy Moorcroft, Project Assistant.

Hello! I am hugely grateful to have been provided with the wonderful opportunity to be part of the Theatre Absolute Team this month as I come on board as Project Assistant for upcoming production CHOKE. With the privilege of a first-hand experience of the Rehearsal process, over the next few weeks I hope to share with you some insights into the celebrations, challenges and ponderings of this creation period. 

Are We Where We Are? The two-year theatre project, inspired by the work of American Novelist Henry David Thoreau began its latest development today as rehearsals began for CHOKE, a new work written by Theatre Absolute’s Artistic Director Chris O’Connell. New to the Shop Front Theatre are Actors Graeme Rose and Matthew Wait.

Day One TAAs expected, the day began with a read through of the script, which instigated a series of in-depth discussions in regard to the motivations and power play between these two males as they revisit their old relationship as University friends. In conjunction with the overarching theme of the programme, discussion and reflection upon the projected authenticity and perceived self-worth of each character brought to light the confusion and vulnerability that these two men face. Who am I? What do I stand for?

As an artist from a predominately Contemporary Dance background, I wasn’t completely sure what to expect, but two things certainly surprised me:

The electric change in energy during the second read through. I presume the second read-through generally flows more smoothly that the first. However, after listening to both Actors intensely discuss their characters backgrounds, thoughts and views on the plays events with Chris, I could really feel the Actors empathic connection to their character emerge in the subsequent read-through. As they began to better understand ‘themselves’ they began to better understand each other, bringing sharp, witty interchanges between the two characters to life. I am really intrigued to see how this continues to develop throughout the rehearsal process.

The attention to rhythm. Finding a pace that feels right in a dialogue exchange is important. As a dancer it was intriguing to hear Chris actively developing the rhythm and musicality of the scripted speech, much in the same way that I would approach shaping and developing of counts for a choreographed phrase. I could see real parallels between the creation of writing, speech and movement in the strive towards what ‘feels right’ to an audience.I can’t wait to see how Chris approaches getting the work onto its feet tomorrow!

Tickets for the performance running 6th -17th February are already on sale and can be purchased here.