July 25th

A very amusing and productive rehearsal this evening at The Dubliner’s in Shibuya, a good stomping ground for hammy acting  – expect no less of my Dickens – and a few ciders.

Without Walter – now in America – and without a space at TUJ – now on vacation – we had little choice than to rehearse in a pub as cafes are too intimate and you attract too much attention.  We couldn’t really do anything other than read and discuss, which was probably sensible with the deadline for the costume list looming. Walter’s friend in the States has a fancy dress shop where we can rent costumes at a reasonable price for long periods and he requested the list by July 31st, so tonight after reading scene one we skimmed the text and compiled our list. Minimalism is the concept behind costume (and everything else) and costume items which can be reused in different scenes are preferred.  We’re going for a Victorian ‘feel’ so we’ll need a few tailed-jackets. I jotted down that 8 characters have top hats – hopefully we can get away with just 2. Keeping our budget low is a priority and having Tim in the cast really helps.  He already has several period pieces in his wardrobe including: a Viking belt for the Ghost of Christmas Present, a 17th century knee length shirt and long johns for Scrooge’s nightclothes, and a vast collection of caps, scarves, handkerchiefs, shawls and fingerless gloves.

After discussing why Marley unravels the bandages on his head in scene 2 and what Walter might wear, Tim recounted a story of a funeral he attended in Kyushu where a very old guest kept picking up his fallen jaw before opening his mouth to speak.  Tim reckons the man had leprosy.  Pity Walter wasn’t here for the character note.

We cleared up a couple of minor character issues.  In the jolly Fezziwig bit of scene 4 we are going have two Miss Fezziwigs rather than three. And the idea to merge Walter’s part of the Husband (scene 1) with the Neighbour (scene 4) has been dropped as we realized the former owes Scrooge a huge debt whereas the latter calls Scrooge an ‘old friend’. Clearly they are different characters – but a different colored cap should do the trick.

By the end of the rehearsal and two large ‘birthday’ ciders, I felt rather light-headed, but not as sleepy as the lad at the adjacent table who, to his date’s dismay, had his head flat on the table.  I hope we don’t have this effect on our audience.