Make More Noise | Rehearsal Diary 1

13 Jul 2018

Over the next few weeks, Associate Director Maisie Newman will be reporting from the rehearsal room of  Make More Noise and giving us an inside look into this all-female production. 

We’re entering the last few weeks before Make More Noise is presented on the main stage at Bristol Old Vic and the culmination of almost three months of bi-weekly rehearsals with our incredible, multi-generational cast is almost over. The rehearsal room is getting loud, fierce and slightly too warm in this weather.

This year was the centenary of some women receiving the right to vote and Make More Noise is a tribute and love letter to all the people who have fought, and continue to fight, for feminism. It is a devised piece of theatre which means the material presented has been created entirely by the cast, this is a very exciting, but sometimes scary, way of working. It means as we head into these last few weeks the pressure is on to finalise and finesse the script and overall structure of the performance.

Our director Lisa Gregan is doing an incredible job of molding and developing the cast’s thoughts and ideas and everyone is putting in so much hard work to get everything ready for production week. 

Feminism is the inclusion and equality of all gender identities from all backgrounds, races, sexualities, abilities, classes and religions. This week we’ve been educating ourselves and researching women like Mary Seacole, Katherine Johnson or Claudette Colvin, whose work, lives or efforts have been ignored or underrepresented due to their race, sexuality, ability, class or religion. We’re overwhelmed by the efforts these women have made and how little we know about them. If you haven’t come across them or the term intersectional feminism before give them a google. If you don’t have time here are a couple of good articles explaining the term, here.

One of the most brilliant parts of this process has been working in a room consisting only of women. Not only is our cast female-identifying but so is our core creative team. It has made us realise that it is a rare and beautiful occurrence to watch and be part of a large group of women working together. Since the beginning of this process every week when I walk into the rehearsal room I am constantly surprised and inspired by the wealth of strength, knowledge and words of wisdom that comes from the cast and their stories. This is regardless of age or background and it feels like we are constantly learning and evolving from each other. The rehearsal room has been open and honest. It has been absolute pleasure to work in and has encouraged an atmosphere of genuineness which has very much been captured in the work that we have made.

This week we’ve stepped up a gear. We are finalising choreography, dancing in heels, gathering props, getting dressed up and making sure the script is all written up and ready to go. We’re also pushing as hard as we can to learn those lines! It has all become very, very exciting. 

Make More Noise comes to Bristol Old Vic from 2 – 4 Aug. Book your tickets here