Tea, tea and more tea, that’s what fuels our rehearsals, especially when we’re right at the beginning of the process and searching for inspiration. So if you want to pop the kettle on I’ll tell you what we’ve been up to so far.
Our show for this year’s Assemble Fest is outside a laundrette and it’s all about washerwomen. We’ve been searching for stories about them, old and new, and we’ve found some fantastic legends, Breton, Celtic, and Saxon, to explore.
We had our first full team rehearsal this weekend (that’s Maureen, Ellie, and Charlie) to see if we could sort through our stories, and iron out our structure. As well as some pretty creepy tales of shroud scrubbing and webbed feet, we found a lot of humour and fun in the stories so we can’t wait to roll up our sleeves and plunge into the writing process proper (hands up anyone who wants to see Maureen imitating the Bean Nighe and wearing her boobs thrown over her shoulder).
We’re linking this year’s show to last year’s, so if you came along to The Cautionary Tale of Horrid Ham Carver you might recognise our characters. Parsley and Rosemary, the sisters from last year, are back, gruesome sense of humour intact, only this time they’re called Persil and Ariel and it’s foam rather than flour they’ll be chucking about. However, don’t worry if you didn’t make it along last year, this is a completely new, freshly pressed story, so you won’t feel like you got lost in the wash.
One thing that has stayed the same as last year is that music will be heavily involved. There’s plenty of washing songs we can’t wait to incorporate, although Maureen and I should perhaps apologise for our less than angelic singing voices now (obviously they’re a deliberate character decision). Our wonderful musician Ellie will be flitting between Manchester and Hull during the rehearsal process in order to compose us another original score, and she’ll be there on the day, pinny on and performing with us.
So for now we’re scrubbing away at a script, and then we’ll wring out some rehearsals, and finally we’ll see you all outside the laundry on the 28th May ready to sort through some odd socks. There’s been talk of water pistols, you have been warned!
Bellow Theatre: The Washerwomen's Warning