Sunday June 26th
Had a quick tot up today of all the characters I will portray in This Evil Thing (some with only one line to speak) and it came to 52. Phew. 52 characters in 75 minutes!
Monday June 27th
I am working with brilliant young sound designer Mark Noble on the soundscape for This Evil Thing. Some of the 52 plus characters I will be playing will be pre-recorded – for example, prisoners who were subject to the infamous ‘No Talking’ rule: we want to record some of their ‘thoughts’, what they would have said could they have spoken.
But I haven’t yet fully developed their characters ( a week ahead of rehearsals starting) – if I record them now and their ‘voices’ change in rehearsal then they won’t ‘match up’. Mark reassures me that we can record those prisoners much later.
A couple of army sergeants, however, with their barking voices, can be completely pre- recorded now. I’m glad of this because if I had to bark orders like that live during every performance ( in addition to everything else I will be speaking during the play) I’m not sure my voice would survive the wreckage.
Mark says there’s plenty else to be getting on with and recording anyway. All kinds of non-human sounds. Like skylarks.
At one point in the play we’re thinking of having the sound of these amazing high-flying birds. I took a few days off in North Norfolk last week, and amongst the myriad bird sounds that assault one’s ears in this part of the world, the one that has stood out all week is that of … skylarks. Everywhere I walked they seemed to be above me. I whipped out my iPhone on one walk and wondered if its microphone was remotely good enough to record the sound. I do it anyway. And only manage 20 clear seconds with no other extraneous noise.
I send it to Mark saying I’m sure he won’t be able to make anything of it. ‘Actually,’ he replies, ‘It’s not bad. We may be able to use it.’
Note for the programme: Skylarks recorded in North Norfolk on a magical June day.
Tickets for THIS EVIL THING now on sale here.