All You Need Is LSD Blog

End of rehearsals and a trip to the recording studio

This morning George and Sophie headed off to a recording studio with Leo, Stephen Harper and Sophie Cotton to record the voice-overs that appear throughout the show. Leo and Sophie Cotton also stayed on to record backing tracks for songs that Leo has written for the show.

I stayed with Jack and Annie in the rehearsal room in Forest Hill to work on individual work, looking at character and relationships. Something that keeps reappearing in the rehearsal room is the importance of ‘lightness’, when jumping between characters or scenes.

The afternoon consisted of work on yesterday’s run, specifically looking at the ending. We then concluded with another run of the show, making it a jam-packed day all round! We are so ready for an audience now and can't wait to take the show on the road!

3 words from the cast on today: bring it on!


Development of the set

It is really exciting to work on set, and when we make little changes it feels like getting new toys to play with in the rehearsal room. We have been playing with a giant inflatable today, which is a new challenge and a brilliant addition to the textures on stage. It’s also fascinating to see how having to tackle a massive inflatable ball changes the way that people move on stage. It’s so much fun trying to find places where that the inflatable can pop out of and make everyone think ‘how did they do that?!’

We are running the entire show every afternoon now, as so much of rehearsing is about getting everyone confident with what they are doing on stage so that they can start to have fun. It’s brilliant when everything falls in to place and the scenes just seem to unfold from one to the next. There are still some thoughts and questions that we need to think about as a group over this last week as we make a final draft of the show. 


Looking at character relationships...

We started today with a session of high intensity interval training led by Sophie Mercell, which certainly woke us all up ready for a good day’s work.

Now that we have an overall shape of the piece we are starting to add in some more detail. The relationships between the characters are coming alive now that people feel more sure about what they are doing. When everyone on stage is relaxed it becomes much more playful as they listen to each other and can pick up on new offers that people are making.

With Leo in the room being part of rehearsals, the script is still an evolving thing with him making little cuts or additions as he feels necessary. Sometimes we want the action to move along a little faster, so we cut a little line here or there to help the momentum in to the next bit of the play.

An update from the rehearsal room!

We've been incredibly busy in rehearsals, and as we have the incredible set to play on and it’s all starting to feel very real. Sophia Clist has designed a set that has lots of different textures and levels and we are just starting to explore the possibilities of how we can use it in the show. People can climb all over it, slide and bounce and disappear in one instant making it really exciting. All You Need Is LSD constantly surprises the audience (and us!) by suddenly changing direction and mood so it’s great that we have a set that keeps up with the text.

We are now running the entire show and the job for this week is to strengthen all of the individual parts, like the songs, the fight sequences and the many many characters that the actors have to jump between.

3 words from Jack Hunter on rehearsals so far: Fit, happy, inquisitive.


Post Research and Development reflection...

Welcome to the first blog for Told by an Idiot’s production of All you need is LSD. The play is written by the brilliant Leo Butler, but this blog is written by me, Beth, the Assistant Director.

We’ve just finished our second week of Research and Development on this piece of brand new writing, so I’ll give a recap of what we’ve been doing. Once we get in to proper rehearsals in September ready for the tour in October and November, you’ll get some more regular updates and insights!

This was our second week of looking at the script and developing the physical language of the production and working out where to make changes to, getit ready for the start of rehearsals. We also introduced co-director Steve Harper to the group and to the ideas that we had been working on during our last research and development week, as it is quite a mind boggling and high speed piece to wrap your head around!  This is why we are really lucky to have kept the same four actors from our original R & D period, so we could just crack straight on from where we left off!

Each day we started with a rigorous physical warm up to get everyone ready for the day, and then we work through different sections of the script either sat at a table, to be able to sift through the detail word by word, or physically trying out different options for staging that part of the script. It is a really collaborative room, with everyone throwing in ideas and ways to solve problems.

The biggest decision that we had to make this week was who would play which characters, and we decided on the wonderful Annie Fitzmaurice to play Leo, with Sophie, Jack and George playing the myriad of constantly changing characters around him.

We were really lucky to have the designer Sophia Clist in the room with us, who gave us our first look at the model box of the set design, which will create a really versatile playground for our 3 weeks of rehearsals. The actors had a play around with some rather curious and exciting inflatables that Sophia brought in. Through the week our composer Sophie Cotton started to introduce her ideas for the sound design that will really help thread together all of the crazy different styles that we jump around between.

From this week alone you can be sure to expect inflatables, acid trips, high octane fight sequences, plenty of Alice in Wonderland references... and so much more!