'Blasted' Rehearsal Blog #2: Fights, Frottage and Chocolate Fingers
As I mentioned last time there are quite a few scenes of physical violence throughout Blasted and it is perhaps these sequences for which the play is best known.
The Other Room is such an intense and intimate space that it is vital to ensure these scenes are believable as the audience will be able to witness every detail.
We are lucky enough to be working with the amazing fight director Rachel Bown-Williams who has brought her expertise to the rehearsal room. Even from the first week Rachel has been working with the actors, teaching them stage combat skills for hand-to-hand skirmishes as well as choreographing the sexual scenes to ensure everyone involved feels safe and comfortable. The men were particularly excited about the gun training but not so keen on their shared kiss.
Seeing the impressive series of movements being build slowly, bit by bit, has been fascinating. The actors have been allowed to safely explore what would be right for their character in that moment, meaning that each of these scenes feels like an honest reaction to the onstage circumstances.
By repeating the series of movements over and over, building the speed slowly, the actors are able to allow the movement to become almost mechanical. Meaning they can concentrate on their emotional performance, rather than worry about the potential to hurt their colleagues or themselves.
Although worry-free for the actors, the fights still leave those watching with a sense of real danger and peril. I’m sure that certain moments will leave the audience squirming with discomfort. I can’t wait for you to bear witness to the amazing work that has been put in to every small movement. You may be wondering where the chocolate fingers feature in the violence and perversion. Luckily they have remained strictly offstage, providing a little moment of joy during well deserved coffee breaks.
You can take a look at Rachel's company Rc-Annie here.