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Blog: Total Hero Team Begins

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I set off for distant TOTTENHAM on Sunday afternoon, there to commence rehearsals for next year's show, Total Hero Team.

We were booked in to practice at some new (to us) rehearsal rooms, Bally Studios. I'd found out about them a while ago when I did a gig organised by one of the people who run it, but to be honest had mostly been persuaded to BOOK it by this incredibly exhaustive list of directions. Anybody KEEN enough to go to THAT much effort is bound to be pretty good, right?

I followed these directions to the letter, bumping in to Mr S Hewitt on the way, and we arrived exactly as directed... to find the door to the office shut. I rang the phone number on the door, but just as I was speaking to the nice chap on the other end his co-owner, Francesca, arrived. We were ten minutes early, she'd arrived five minutes early. We were all EFFICIENT!

Things got even better when we went round to our room - outside their were BEATLES posters, inside was a marvellous DREAM of a rehearsal room. It was CLEAN! It didn't STINK! It was full of NEW GEAR! There were photographs of MOTOWN LEGENDS on the wall, and FAIRY LIGHTS! There was even a comfy chair and CLEAN RUG on the floor. Just as we were MARVELLING at how NICE it was, we were offered a cup of TEA!!!!!!

If you've never been in a rehearsal room before you may be thinking "What is the fuss about? Isn't this normal for professional rehearsal studios?" NO. NO IT VERY MUCH ISN'T.

Once we'd calmed down we got going, first trying out the songs on their own, and then going for a FULL RUN THROUGH. As ever on these occasions I found my feelings MIXED. Some of it worked really really well and I got EXCITED - there's some CRACKING songs in this one, also some GAGS, and the way it comes together at the end - OH! It's GOOD! However, there were quite a few bits which I thought could do with tightening up or just CUTTING (I finally decided that the whole "bucket speech" section feat. Captain Cashbucket and Princess PintPot has to go, despite being one of my FAVOURITE parts) and Steve requested a re-jig on a couple of bits which, it turns out, DID need a re-jig. I also found myself PANICKING: "Oh no!" I would panic, "This is all a bit hesitant, we're not singing it right and/or getting the full potential from the GAGS!" As usual I would have to remind myself that this WAS the first time we'd ever done this particular script together and so, just maybe, we might not be QUITE as adept at it as we were at the end of year long runs of the other shows!

Despite my general PANIC, however, it did all seem to work pretty well. We're having another practice next week before we have the first READTHROUGH, after which there'll be MORE re-writes and, thinking back to previous times at this point, that usually generates a LOT of excellent changes. I think, INTELLECTUALLY at least, it's all going to be FINE, but EMOTIONALLY I find it all a bit worrying. I'll be very relieved when it's finalised, LEARNT, and we're on to show 20 or something!

And so we BEGIN, with high hopes and PANIC - IT WAS EVER THUS!

posted 5/11/2012 by MJ Hibbett

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