Meet & Greet - One Under
Two days before the opening of One Under, by Winsome Pinnock and Graeae Theatre Company, I was invited to attend my first Meet & Greet experience; something that’s usually reserved for theatre staff only.
Arriving at the wrong entrance and waiting at the Back Stage door amongst remnants from last week's fabulous Rocky Horror show, which are due to be collected on Thursday, apparently, I realised I didn’t really know what to expect. Luckily other people knew what they were doing and soon came to find me hiding back there. Upon making our way up to the first floor mezzanine, I was pre-warned about the ‘circle time’ style introductions that might ensue, but I felt reasonably confident that I wouldn’t say anything too stupid, but I can never guarantee this, of course.
Armed with my complimentary camomile tea, I was greeted by a few familiar faces and introduced to some new ones. A crowd started to quickly gather in a relaxed semi- circle facing towards the Director, Amit Sharma. Bracing myself for the introductions that inevitably came, I can confirm I proudly managed to remember my name and my role there, thus not embarrassing myself or Rebecca and Maia who run the Bloggers & Critics Scheme. Phew.
Joking aside, it was encouraging to see such a diverse bunch of people from front of house staff, to cast members and talent developers, to production and marketing, and even the CEO, all of whom play an integral part in the day to day working of this busy and thriving theatre. No matter their role, everyone was genuinely pleased to be there and took a keen interest in what the cast and crew of The Drum’s latest production had to say, making for a humble and relaxed atmosphere.
However, it wasn't all one sided, the mutual respect was apparent. Amit declared the company's love of returning to The Drum over the years as TRP is one of the best producing theatres in the country. So clearly they have great taste as well as oodles of talent!
After brief introductions and some background information about the company, we were invited to preview the set. Eagerly making our way into The Drum, we gathered around on the benches to witness a production that was clearly in the midst of technical rehearsals, fine tuning, and settling into the space ready for Thursday's opening night.
The term ‘creative use of captioning’ is cited in the show's description on TRP’s website. Beforehand I wondered what this could mean, but it became immediately apparent as we stepped into the room. The cast, which consists of disabled and non-disabled performers, and the production team of One Under will “creatively integrate description and captioning” into the show. I'm still not 100% sure how this will happen, but I'm looking forward to finding out next week.
Amit also mentioned inspiration for the set design was in part based on the DNA double helix structure as he playfully wove in and out of it light heartedly discussing how everything was shaping up. Unfortunately, as the play isn't open yet, I couldn't take any pictures to illustrate this pretty poor half-description of the set. But if you are interested, you'll just have to go and see it for yourself, won't you!
Running from Thursday 17th to Saturday 26th in The Drum, more information and tickets are available here.