Panto Day 2020
Friday 18th December

Panto Advice

5 Ways to Make the Most of a Short Rehearsal Period

Pantomime rehearsal periods are renowned for being the shortest in the industry. It keeps costs affordable for producers, but how do we make sure we can still achieve a brilliant outcome?

A detailed schedule

I find that publishing a detailed schedule in advance of rehearsals gives me a useful roadmap to tech week and helps the cast prepare themselves for scenes and routines we’re covering that day. Leave plenty of flexible time slots towards the end of rehearsals where you can run the show or polish individual sections as you require.

More than one rehearsal room

Try to rehearse at a venue where you can have 2 or 3 rehearsal rooms running at once. This enables you to direct scenes in one, teach choreography in a second and have music rehearsals in the third. If you’re lucky and have assistant creative team members, you can be even more flexible with who is doing what, and where.

Plan your blocking in advance

For some shows, I prefer to develop the blocking in the room with the cast. However with short rehearsal periods, this isn’t always the most productive way to use the time available. For panto I tend to have a rough plan in my head with then flexes and develops in the room. Looking for ways to make something slicker and funnier is one of my favourite parts of the job.

Request cast to be off book

Reading from a script in quick witted comedy routines can be a real drag on the pace of a scene. If your cast are off book on day one of rehearsals, you’re one step closer to a fluid and pacy final result. Once the cast can run a scene with pace you can start picking out extra details and comedy which would be impossible to add with scripts in hand.

Facilitate a Happy Room

Short rehearsal periods can be stressful for cast and crew when everyone is on a tight deadline. Do your best to ensure that your rehearsal room is a happy and productive place to be. Keeping everyone’s spirits high makes for a better workplace environment and a better show. If cast are enjoying themselves in rehearsals, they will on stage and that will really show to an audience.

Wrapping Up

I’d love to hear some of your thoughts on making the most of a short rehearsal period. You can email me, or get in touch via my website where you’ll find lots more blogs aimed at making your panto experience the best it can be.

There are 0 comments

Leave a comment

Want to express your opinion?
Leave a reply!