One of the features of working at NTC is that we like to debrief a production so that we can keep doing what works and fix what doesn’t. The debrief for Rabbit Hole on Tuesday 5th April proved valuable on both counts.
Particularly pleasing was the improvement in bump-in and bump-out. There were some issues raised during the Heartbreak House debrief about the need for communication and coordination and it looks like people were listening. Between them, the casts of Company and Rabbit Hole managed a particularly smooth bump-in.
With three and sometimes four productions in rehearsal at once the need for shows to talk to each other is key, and this was a feature of the Rabbit Hole rehearsal period. When there were issues, phone calls and discussions meant they were dealt with quickly and cooperatively.
Every production has problems to solve and this production was no different but because Leslie as Production Manager stayed on top of the job, met the deadlines and communicated clearly with people, problems were minimised or effectively dealt with.
Organisation and communication was key to the success of this show and this showed at other levels. The art exhibition was one of our most successful but this was the result of a lot of contact and communication between the artist and the company
One thing everyone noticed about this play was how it gave people the chance to talk about their own experiences with bereavement and loss. In the foyer, anyone working for the company noticed these conversations and often joined in. It's an indicator of why we need to do plays like this one and Women of Lockerbie. The people who committed to the journey that was the play seemed to get more out of it than a good night out. At the debrief, a lot of attendees noted the reception of the play from members of huge public and the experienced theatre community.
Plays like this may not pull a crowd like a farcical comedy but it is essential that they be part of our season because of the way they affect everyone involved.
There was particular praise for the lighting, sound and set construction. With only four days to get in, it took a lot of planning. On technical notes, the new headsets worked well once people were accustomed to them. There were questions about the location of the condenser microphones that were installed on the stage. While this is being looked into, it's clear that we may still need to do some work to better co-ordinate technical equipment particularly.
Around the table, there was a lot of comment about how this was a 'dream' play, with an harmonious cast, strong direction and leadership, great audience reaction and critical acclaim. All in all, it's agreed that it was an exemplary production which showed what's possible in this company.