Production Diary (3)

Second week of a two week rehearsal period and the play is shaping up nicely. Actually that sounds glib. Two weeks is a horribly short length of time for what - from a purely practical point of view - is a "big learn." Lots of words. Also, this is a very physical and very visual play, which has to be carefully choreographed if it's going to make sense, and both actors and director are doing a great job. I wanted it to have something of the quality of a country dance about it - and I think that's what it will have. Whether the audience will appreciate it or not is another matter. I predict right now that the Herald's Neil Cooper won't like it - may as well acknowledge that and get on with it! (Not his sort of play I think. He may damn it with faint praise though...)The musician, an astounding young woman from Glasgow called Celine Donoghue, is proving to be such an asset. The music is an integral part of this play, interwoven with action and dialogue, but it takes a special sort of skill to improvise around this and she is amazing - quite magical in fact. (Working with a fiddle from the early 1700s, as well.) Besides that, I think Burns is charismatic, deeply sympathetic and exasperating all at once - as he should be - while Jean is poignant, perceptive - and with a singing voice to die for - again, as she should.