A blog post by Nikki Kalkman, Assistant Director, Space Ape and Black Beauty
Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.
I don’t know who said that, but they were a liar!
I have one of the greatest jobs in the world. Over the last week, as Space Ape has taken up residency in Perth Theatre’s sparklingly new rehearsal room, nestled in the upper most corner of it’s stunning newly refurbished building, I’ve helped turn an old tea thermos into a giant rocket ship; I have watched hilarious disco inspired dance moves, I have listened to Space Odyssey’s theme tune countless times; and I’ve heard people say ridiculous sentences like; “I think it would be better to eat the blueberry moon after the impersonation of caveman JFK?”
It’s been an amazing experience these last few weeks. I have loved every moment of it. But let me tell you, yes you, unknown author of mildly patronising proverbs, it was most definitely work.
The entire creative team have worked tirelessly over the last week and a bit to bring together the last few pieces of this theatre puzzle.
Let me give you a brief run down:
Last Monday 9am, our fantastic production team were poised with paint brushes and hammers ready to continue their diligent work on the various set, props and lighting requirements of the show. This was no easy task with a show that literally goes to Mars and back in the space of an hour.
Throughout the next two days set pieces were sanded down and painted. Props were ordered and re-ordered. Lighting options were discussed and different lanterns were set up in the rehearsal room. The sound system was checked and found to not be working. Perth technicians were called. The projector was set up and set pieces were weighted and climbed on.
Banana cake was baked. Yep it’s a prop.
A circular carpet arrived. It didn’t fit in the van. It was then carefully cut into pieces- along its radius, diameter and chord, to keep it science related – but don’t worry I had to look up what the chord of a circle was as well!
The exact colour of yellow sock was meticulously chosen and ordered in bulk.
The correct size and colour of various grapes, apples, clementines and bananas were carefully selected from the shelves of the nearest M&S.
Then Wednesday – after a quick march down the streets of Perth with Andy Cannon dressed in an orange space suit and Ray Ban Aviator Sunglasses followed closely by our marketing and press team – we were ready to begin rehearsals.
The next three days were a blur of blocking, prop journeys, creative problem solving and production meetings. Dusting off the material created several weeks earlier; pushing it, pulling it, looking for holes, flinging it against the walls, throwing it around the set, making it march to the beat of the sound design and gently breathe in time with the video design.
As Friday rolled around the whole team was prepped and ready for the Easter weekend. But we didn’t get the chance to gorge ourselves on too many chocolate treats, as it was back to work on Monday.
With our Easter eggs stashed safely in the Green Room fridge, Monday marked the last day of rehearsals before our set was packed up and moved into the Joan Knight Studio.
These next few days will consist of tech sessions one and two. Plus a few dress rehearsals and no one from the cast, crew or creative team is likely to see much daylight. Lighting states will be set and all the cues are, well, queued and the performance grows and shifts once more.
Thursday 7pm will be here before we know it and the performance will make another transformation as audiences enter the space for the first time and Space Ape launches into the heavens.
All stations are on.
The countdown is a go…..
You get the picture.