There are glimmers of magic during our top-secret first run-through of “Swampoodle” in the Uline Arena this week.
During the day the Uline is a parking lot. But after dark, when the last of the commuter cars leave the building, the Swampoodle crew takes over. It all feels very undercover, and the atmospheric reverb of the place gives me goose-bumps. It’s hard not to let your imagination run wild when you think about the people who have performed here in the past. But tonight it’s our turn to give the Uline a try-out and see what magic we can weave.
For the run-through our cast have to perform the play for the first time from start to finish. Normally, we rehearse in 60×100 feet space. Now they’re being asking to peform in an abandoned nine thousand seater arena without theatre lights and without a proper sound system! With the huge space difference the actors spend a lot of time running to catch up. Of course, there are moments when it all feels like a glorious shambles. But that’s the way it always is for the first run-through. In fact, that’s what its all about – finding the cracks, identifying the challenges and moving forward.
But it’s also about discovering the magic. And against all the odds, our wonderful cast discover plenty of magic during the run-through in this echoing arena. You can tell that this magic will only grow and grow… Cue lights… Cue video… Cue music… Cue Swampoodle!