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Walden 2010 - Cameron's Tour Diary

Cameron's Tour Diary- Week 1

So the tour’s begun. This first week has been brilliant! We started at Dancebase in a lovely studio at the very top of the building. This is the studio which Walden was first tried out in a workshop before it was finally developed into the play it is today. The first preview was excellent, having a lot of supportive faces around, some of which were members of the Open Source. It’s always a bit of a nervous start with any preview of a show, but I really enjoyed sharing the story for the first time.

We’ve had a couple of closed performances at St Katherines and Howden Hall in Edinburgh for teens that go to school there and we also had two sell out shows at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow. I have never performed at the Tron before but have seen plenty of great plays there. We were in the Changing House which is a studio space perfectly sized for our show and the wooden beams supporting the roof above, merged aesthetically with our set.

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Walden in rehearsal 2010

We're now well into Walden rehearsals - well, three days in actually - and it feels like getting to know an old friend all over again. This is now the fourth time I've rehearsed the play, but each time I discover new things. It's also interesting working with a new actor as this inevitably brings out new aspects of both the character and the text. Cameron (the new actor) has new questions, and this leads me to finding new things as well, and one of the great things about doing a one person show is that you can afford to spend more time talking - Walden is so much about ideas that you really need to thrash about a bit to get to the grist of it, and to find the charactersitics of this stage version of Thoreau. You have more time because you don't have to worry so much about the actual staging - a lot of which is, crudely speaking, avoiding actors standing in front of each other. It's more complex than that, of course, but you're usually trying to create focus on particular parts of the stage - with only one actor you don't need to worry because the audience don't have anyone else to look at instead. Having said that, as Walden is peformed in the round, the audience can look at each other, and this also presents a challenge for rehearsing with a new actor. The style of the production means that the audience are a very active part of the performance - another character in a way - which means that until you actually perform it with an audience, the actor has little ideas of how this other character is going to behave and react to him. Cameron is having to do a lot of imagining other people looking at him, making eye contact (or not), reacting to his quips with them etc, and I imagine this is probably quite hard.

It's great having the set back up again - it still has that wonderful cedar aroma after a year in storage and I love walking through the rehearsal room door in the morning and meeting the smell.

Nicholas Bone

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Latest Comment

J. Sharp Taking A Walk
07 September 2014
Very much enjoyed your show at the Brunton Theatre last night and the silent walk to start was an excellent addition, creating the perfect atmosphere....