Dracula Diaries, week4.2

Backers, we have opened!!

After 4 weeks of blood sweat and tears we opened last night to almost a full house!

The audience reaction was great, the actors were buzzing and none of this would have happened if it hadn’t been for you.

I can only express immense gratitude to you all for helping this new company get its first production to the stage. It has been a long road, but its just the first step of many.

What’s next for The Canting Crew? Watch this space, we have 2 further production in the pipeline, but may take a short rest, just to catch our breath.

Come over to the web site to see the trailer for Dracula.

Now on to the last diary entries. This is the cast and crew of Dracula, signing off.

Regards, and thanks

Stephen

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Kayleigh (playing Lucy)
I cant believe that show week is finally here. Im currently sat here waiting for my train to get me to London for press night and the nerves are starting to set in. Its been a great journey and the show has massively grown since we started. The characters now have leapt off the page of our scripts and im so glad to see the story coming to life with such energy!! Everyone literally has put blood, sweat and tears into this (mostly sweat… damn heatwave!)

Thank you to everyone who has supported us on this journey and i hope you enjoy watching it as much as i’ve enjoyed scaring everyone! 🙂

So today is the press night and as we look to open the show its with a
twinge of sadness that this part of the journey comes to an end. The
rehearsal process has been really exciting, emotional, exhausting, and
utterly enjoyable and I'm thrilled we will now get to share it all
with you.
I feel honoured to have been part of The Canting Crew's first
production, and without you it wouldn't have been possible so thank
you for making it happen and I can't wait to see you at the
show....Hearts will race..Blood will spill.. Dracula will rise..

Xx

Jene Lee-May

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Tara’s Diary

The final week of rehearsals, getting back in the theatre and seeing the space transform under a new kaleidoscopic array of lights has been amazing! Mina as a character has been transforming with it – her up-beat survival attitude has been put to the test in such grim surroundings and her feelings of solitude are making much more sense to me in a space that is so broken up by drop-lighting cues and the eerie designs for her home-space.

Two scenes saw a real shift this week for me: the hypnotism of Jonathan where Mina finally discovers what he’s been concealing from her during their honeymoon… although I have always felt close to Arthur during this scene because of the grief we both share, this week I had a sudden AHA! moment discovering the sarcastic disbelief that binds them together too – of course she can’t believe this story until she sees evidence for herself; she wouldn’t have survived as long as she has if she were the sort to believe in or dwell on fairy-tales, and finding this hard detachment in her in this scene made the shock of the next one much more interesting!

Last but definitely not least was the final scene, which finally shifted into the right place for me this week; such a fast sequence of events happens to herald the end that the emotional shifts are a real challenge to ‘live through’ with the right amount of weight at this speed. Again, Mina’s relationship with Arthur held the first key for me, as his rejection of her after they have experienced such closeness pushes her away to cling to whoever will help her to survive…

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Michael Brady playing Van Helsing

We are nearly there! Tonight is our press night and I’m really starting to get a buzz from the shape the play is taking.

A couple of people have sat into rehearsals and given really good feedback. This is really motivating and it tells us that we are on the right track.

It’s good to be doing complete run-throughs of the play as you can really start to get a sense of the journey that all the characters are on.

It also means we can tighten up on any gaps that there are and make sure that we are producing really polished performances.

The technical aspects are now the priority: just attaching something can turn into an exercise on The Krypton Factor; so time still needs to be spent on making sure these seemingly easy moves do not disrupt the rhythm and pace of the scene.

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Simon, playing Renfield:

Wow! My last diary entry. 
I've really enjoyed writing these as its helped me think about my own creative process and the steps I've taken to get to a performance I'm happy with. 
From the initial conception stages to the now imminent performances has been a real learning curve and one of the most complex scripts I've ever worked on. 
I feel privileged to have been involved from the beginning discussions with Stephen to the auditions, rehearsals and finally the performances. It's something that I will always be proud of and will pave the way for a lot more Canting Crew projects. 
Thanks for reading. 
As Renfield would say, 'lady smell like big fly...' 
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Wayne Burke playing Arthur Seward 

Well it is with a little sadness that I write the final instalment of my rehearsal diary, it has been a fun and interesting journey which is stretching me with every performance.

We are all exhausted, the tech day has pushed me beyond and yet in amongst the stress and problem solving there is a glow inside of all of us that is the realisation that we are doing it, the fears from the previous weeks about lines or cues or props or understanding the text have, without me realising, dissipated and left. It is about living in the performance now, finding the joviality and the vulnerability freshly each night, preparing myself for the onslaught of Act 2 and more than any of it, enjoy my time with Arthur Seward as it will be gone all too quickly.

Join us in celebrating what it is to be alive, as actor, as audience and as a person – thank you all for making this possible x

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Kimberly Black, playing Florrie:

Woah, just when I thought I was tired, we just stepped it up a level!

There has been sawing, painting spongeing, sewing, drilling, building and cardboard creations. The vampire brides totally have a creative streak. I for one have been completely covered in paint 2 days running, but wait till you see it. We also managed to terrify the lighting designer Mwahaha! Good job gang.

An amazing team effort, its all coming together and I can’t wait for an audience.

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