From the rehearsal room

 An update on the huge task of bringing rehearsals together, from Silver Birch producer, Kate Laughton. 

We have reached the end of our first phase of rehearsals with our Silver Birch Primary Company, Adult Company and Child Soloists. For five consecutive Tuesdays we have crammed the hall of Lane End Primary School, which is just one of the generous partner organisations helping to support the massive community effort that is Silver Birch. The scenes are gradually taking shape, as we move from housing estate, to school playground, and begin to grapple with the references to Sassoon’s poetry in the text, and set out to memorise the words and music created by Jessica and Roxanna. The challenges for the cast and artistic team are considerable but the team's camaraderie is strong and spirits are high as we prepare for the weeks ahead. 

During the half-term week, the Creative Team returned to re-invigorate our 50-strong Youth Company, who met for the first time since Easter. A transformation at Cressex Community School (another key partner) took place in preparation for their arrival, as the Production Team from Garsington Opera built aspects of the set (in any spare time away from other operas performing at Wormsley) to recreate the army camp and battle scene. Some of the adults, who just couldn't keep away, joined some rehearsals to help to reinforce our young recruits when out in the desert.

Planning is now apace for weekend rehearsals at the beginning of July when we begin to fit all the jigsaw pieces together and combine the various casts, draft in students to work with the Foley Artists from Pinewood Studios and begin to rehearse with our student instrumentalists who will be joining the Garsington Opera Orchestra in the pit. This will also be when we begin to work with Garsington's professional technical team to bring the show to the stage, and our six wonderful professional singers, as well as our conductor Douglas Boyd. I can’t wait.