Rehearsing Outdoors


Here are a damp-looking group of Mechanicals, rehearsing in the rain – my umbrella brim is at the top of the photo. We just carried on when it rained, which it did on several occasions. The wonderful cast never complained! It snowed on our first Sunday afternoon rehearsal, and the notes on my script blurred and ran. After that, I kept it in a plastic wallet and often had to wipe each page dry once home from rehearsal.


Drone photo of the final rehearsals and film sessions (taken by Sameera) in bright sunlight. This was how I’d imagined all the outdoor rehearsals would be… I had visions of drifting around in a floaty dress with a sunhat. In fact, many of us got sunburnt during the previous day’s filming and had to cover our ‘sore bits’.

Back in March, planning the rehearsal schedule, I used a sunset timetable in an attempt to calculate how long we could stay outdoors on Wednesday evenings. Our first evening rehearsal (with Hippolyta, Theseus and Oberon) was on a cold March evening. Birds sang, the air was still and crisp and it felt hopeful and exciting. We managed fifteen minutes before the dark forced us to hurry home to meet on Zoom.

We soon became used to the vagaries of the weather and were prepared for anything. Just as well, as our 8-week rehearsal period ran through the wettest and coldest spring for many years!