Through The Mill: Don’s Diary – Day 6

Saturday, and a change of rehearsal venue. Under rainy skies, my Glockenspiel and I – “have Glock … will travel”, take the Victoria Line to Stockwell tube station and we find our way to Lost Theatre, Wandsworth.

Upon arrival, I am greeted by the warm smiles of Simon Holt and Tom Reade, and our intrepid band stand around in clusters awaiting the opening of the doors.

Access to the building is finally achieved, upon which we toil up two flights of stairs – why I didn’t take the lift I’ll never know – to our designated rehearsal room. It is airless and windowless.

Our Stage Manager, Alex, marks out the set with red and blue tape, and we are ready to go. Almost all of the full company are present. This is rather nice, as we haven’t been together since the read-through on day one. The room is sparsely furnished with a few chairs and, somewhat bizarrely, a sofa. I spot the one small table and before anyone can stop me, I place it in a corner and unpack my Glock.

Starting the show from the top, it’s obvious that some really good work has been achieved in the past week. Max, our Director, begins to build in scene transitions and, as the temperature in the room continues to rise, it’s lunch.

Afternoon, and the heat in the room becomes borderline tropical. Temperatures rise on stage as well, with the sexual chemistry between Palace Judy (Belinda Wollaston) and Sid Luft (a bearded Harry Anton), feeling almost tangible. Late afternoon sees the arrival of Justin and Harry, our brilliant set designers. We all gather round as Harry introduces their stunning design for “Through The Mill”.

Max rounds things off with company notes and, with enormous relief, my Glock and I take refuge from the Sahara and accompany the genial Ray Rackham all the way back to Walthamstow Central. Week one done, week two to come.

Can’t wait!

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