From the Rehearsal Room - Five Properties of Chainmale


As rehearsals round out their second week,  Nicholas Hope reveals the perils of being both writer and director of a piece.

We are now two weeks into the first staggered weeks of rehearsal. It is utterly absorbing watching the piece take shape. I have chosen to block all the way through first, then revisit each section and concentrate on style, pacing, relationships, and throughlines. All of these of course impact on each other, so whichever way you go more or less biases later decisions. Most times I have been in a play rehearsals have gone the other way round, looking at style, pacing, relationships and throughlines first. The actors are being remarkably calm and cheery about the process which must seem arse-about in some ways – but creating an initial, flexible physical shape has exposed a series of connections we might not otherwise have found, and the structure of the play suits this rehearsal approach.

Nicholas Hope during rehearsals

As we come into the ‘solid’ block of rehearsals, we are entering into the stylistic differences between ‘properties’. I am dealing with how much to differentiate each section whist maintaining clear thematic links. The latter are obvious to me as director/writer, but will they play to an audience? It is exciting, challenging, and on a personal level close to threatening. There’s no-one else to blame if the choices I make are unclear.

I love it!

Nicholas Hope, writer and director Five Properties of Chainmale

Five Properties of Chainmale plays 15 April – 9 May, book tickets