There was far more space in my head. The chairs were a lot smaller in my diagram – and the actors didn’t have inconsiderate sticky-outie things, such as elbows.
After measuring and marking out the area of the stage in the rehearsal space – and then filling it with set, props and actors – I realised one very important thing: size might not be everything, but with this stage, we’re going to have to work hard!
As our five-and-a-half-hour rehearsal motored on, trying to realise the blocking I had envisioned in my head became more and more like a game of live Tetris. The blocks kept falling, but the gaps were suddenly the wrong shape – or already filled with actors and their silly elbows – and time was running out…
When we eventually reached the last page, I was so relieved that I forgot we’d started a bit later than usual and accidentally let the cast go half an hour early. Don’t worry – that won’t be happening again!