Sadie: Seón Simpson Assistant Director Blog #1

Week one of Sadie rehearsals marks the first week the Lyric has rehearsed a full production since last March. In her first Assistant Director blog, Seón gives a glimpse into the world of rehearsal bubbles, zoom rehearsals and isolating cast members.

Last March, many theatre venues made the tough decision to close their spaces. What came next was a wave of streamed theatre. Wonderful creatives working together remotely have kept us entertained during this time.

However, I have missed being in a rehearsal room and taking a play from page to stage. This week, it has been a privilege to be part of that again. Rehearsals during a pandemic are definitely something we’ll have to get used to. A week usually filled with handshakes, new faces, old faces, hugs and evening traffic jams, has been replaced by elbow touches, pixilated faces across a screen, temperature checks, and a post-apocalyptic M2. Two of the cast members have been graciously isolating, coming in live to rehearsals via zoom, so that they can join us in the rehearsal room next week, which is warmly anticipated by the rest of the rehearsal bubble. Usually you wouldn’t think twice about going to the shop to get your lunch, or nipping up to another department to have a question answered quickly, however these are things we’ve had to consider to limit the chances of contracting COVID-19. The production meeting felt like any other, but it was great to catch a glimpse of people’s living rooms and pets- a highlight of most zoom calls. A weekly COVID test feels strange now, but I’m sure by the end of the process will not phase us at all. Despite the challenges of not being able to have every creative in the room, the Sadie team have had an energetic and fruitful first week of rehearsals.

At times you forget the conditions you’re creating in and it almost feels normal.