LeanerFasterStronger: The joys of tech’… 48 hours to opening.

Christopher Simpson in designer  Shanaz Gulzar’s floor projection.

It’s technical rehearsal in Sheffield Crucible Studio for LeanerStrongerFaster… A magical time, when all the individual elements which make a production all start coming together.

The devil in the detail…Movement advisor Lucy Cullingford demonstrates a last minute alteration to actor Morven Macbeth.

This is the very first time all the different strata – the text, the action, the lighting, the video projections, the physical scores, soundscape and musical composition have been layered and brought together. It’s also the first time I have got a sense of what this performance may be – the jigsaw is being pieced together – and it’s an incredibly exciting and gratifying time.

Designer and video artist Shanaz Gulzar in tech’.

Technical rehearsals are notorious… If things go wrong, they can be hellish experiences sapping the energy out of the full company. But if they go right…. The relaxed, smiling image of our designer and video artist, Shanaz Gulzar, tells the full story. The crew work fantastically together, the actors are eager, focussed and full of energy, and the day passes with a surprising amount of pleasure.

The cast and background lights from the crew.

By 10pm when we call it a day, I have a sense of the extraordinary complexity in Andrew Loretto’s production. He has set us off on separate but joined creative paths – me initially writing the script and trying to imagine the world of this immersive theatre experience –  Shanaz making her wonderful video projections – Shane Durrant creating an environmental soundscape and original composition – Gary Longfield painting with lights…. The actors have made their own in-depth explorations, discoveries and interpretations – but one person, Andrew as director, has been holding this all together in his imagination.

Ben Addis and projection.

Tomorrow (it’s past midnight…later today) we complete the tech’ and present the work for the first time in a public dress rehearsal. It will be exhilarating to try it out in front of an audience – and I can’t wait.


A Sheffield Theatres and Chol Theatre Co-Production

Wed 23 May – Sat 2 June 2012 http://www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk/event/leanerfasterstronger-12/



Shanaz Gulzar


Gary Longfield

Lighting Designer

Shane Durrant

Composer and Sound Designer



All photographs taken by Kaite O’Reilly in technical rehearsal at Sheffield Theatres. Copyright 22nd May 2012.

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