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Blog: A Mid-Season Tweak

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Last night myself and Mr S Hewitt met up in the ever delightful Bally Studios for a bit of a mid-season TWEAK.

As I've said before, inrecent performances of Total Hero Team I've noticed the return of some of the LULLS we used to get during live Dinosaur Planet shows. Nothing AWFUL, just bits where things went a bit QUIET, especially during shows in larger venues and/or where people hadn't necessarily come EXPECTING to see an hour long two-man rock opera (YES such places EXIST, KRAZY as it sounds). Part of this was due to us both getting a bit LOST in the script - where we'd wavered away from the lines and were sort of paddling back towards them, saying two long sentences to try and get the right meaning instead of the short single one it was meant to be. Another part was due to the fact that their SHOULD have been a short single sentence (or indeed NO SENTENCE) but I'd written several long waffly ones instead!

Thus I had a PRUNE of the script last week, removing the aforesaid waffly bits and, mostly, taking out some of the Extra Plots that I'd RAMMED in late last year when I was doing Theatre on my course. This was stuff like the (SPOILERS) United Statesman / Womandroid relationship which, it turns out, might need loads of LINEZ and stuff for a PLAY, but can be done with the usual HIGH CONCEPT ACTING (hem hem) in a two-man rock opera.

We were in a DIFFERENT rehearsal room from the one we're usually in (this one had 90's bands all over the walls, as opposed to Motown Acts from the 60's - i expect that further down the corridor they feature The Music Of The Future) but once we'd got over THAT (the ceiling was higher too! It was WEIRD!) we settled down to go through the script. By heck, it was ENORMOUS FUN! We read through each Talky Session, discussing the changes and, where applicable, changing them a) BACK to how they'd developed in Live Performance or b) to something a bit more sensible. We even did some DIRECTION, working out NEW BITS, and generally DELIGHTING in the fact that loads of it works MUCH better with great CHUNKS lopped out.

Now full of new CONFIDENCE we then RECORDED it all - again, just the talky bits, as the songs are pretty much FINE - and amended the script accordingly, so that we'd have a TOTALLY CORRECT version we could listen to OR read through, depending on MOOD. It all sounded pretty darn good, also SNAPPY!

I know Actual Comedians go through this kind of process every year, developing their shows as they go along, and I did wonder whether they do this sort of mid-term assessment, but I've just realised they totally DO. Everything I've ever read about "How To Do Comedy" tells them to RECORD themselves, LISTEN to it, and work out what's going well and what isn't. I guess that's what we've just done!

We also decided that another SHOW in London might be a good idea, sometime between Hibbettfest and Buxton, just to get us TONED UP. I'm going to try and book it tomorrow, stand by for ANNOUNCEMENT!

posted 5/6/2013 by MJ Hibbett

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