On 5 October Martthew Friday's first play, Che Guevara's Motorbike or How I Found My Father, which he is also directing, will open at The Rosemary Branch in London. You can read the background on the Writers' Guild website and follow his trials and tribulations here each week.
Another rehearsal day. Paul couldn't make it, being at work. So we did the scenes in which his character (Gary) does not appear. We worked from about 11am to 5pm and it went well.
This rehearsal was about doing a lot of focused work on small sections of the play. Simone was late as she was waiting at home for a Fedex parcel and then Waterloo station was closed because of a 'security' alert or, as was most likely, a lack-of-staff-alert.
We did some good work, changing some of the scenes to make them faster and funnier. The whole rehearsal was most beneficial for Joan because, as the new member of the cast, she is still getting to grips with her character and the play.
As ever, it was a lunch of tea and sausage sandwich in the Goldsmith Coffee Shop, recently upgraded from an above-average Greasy Spoon café to a rather posh café, complete with a new flat screen television and plush reception counter.
The highlight of the day? Organising a special deal on tickets for all the Saturday Matinee shows - now only £5. What a bargain.
Another good rehearsal day. We worked on the second half, performing for the first time the new scenes at the end of the play. The scenes flowed fairly smoothly, and we tightened a lot of the dialogue with cuts.
It was good to see that the changes I had made for 'Gary' worked well and it really developed his dysfunctional relationship with 'Alberto.' Another bonus was the continuing improvement of the Goldsmith Coffee shop. Now it has plush new chairs and tables. It's the restaurant transformation equivalent of Jekyll and Hyde. I am hoping there are no more experiments and the restaurant does not revert back to its monstrous self.
In the evening we all went to our patron theatre, the Rosemary Branch, and watched the entertaining show before us, Making Dickie Happy. The show was sold out. They had a brilliant set which really filled up the stage space. It looked and felt like the famous 1920's hotel on Burgh Island, Devon.
I sat there making furious notes about the stage layout and design, and how different our play will be. I got looks from various members of the audience, thinking I was a reviewer. There was one in the theatre: Michael Billington of the Guardian. No, I'm just the director of the next show. The one that is so radically different from a very well executed period comedy featuring Noel Coward, Lord Mountbatten and Agatha Christie.
I am beginning to get nervous.