Insights into The Card

By Assistant Director, Nick Shaw

The Card was my first experience as an Assistant Director, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve worked with Conrad as an actor and we already have a good working relationship, so I was delighted to be offered the chance to work with him and Deborah in this role.

 We began a number of weeks before rehearsals, going through the script, discussing how scenes would work structurally and reading through to give Deborah the chance to hear it out loud before finalising the rehearsal draft. I also sat in on some casting sessions, and we had a meeting with the Community Company to introduce them to the project and find out who would be able to commit to the time requirements of the project. A great part of the Claybody ethos is their community involvement, but this was the most ambitious project to date and would see the Community Company involved throughout the play.

Rehearsals were intense but brilliantly rewarding. It was fantastic to witness the dedication and talent of the brilliant acting company, Musical Director Rebekah Hughes, and Choreographer Beverley Norris-Edmunds. We only had 3 weeks to rehearse the entire show, so Saturdays and evening rehearsals were used to rehearse sections with the Community Company and excellent Acceler8 brass band. I liaised with Community Company member Katie Hambleton to plan availability and finalise which sections would have community involvement. After the first few performances I provided notes and refined sections, but the company admirably took on the responsibility of their part in the production and supported the professional acting company as they raced around backstage frantically changing from one character to another! 

I learned so much from this project. As an actor I love the focus and detailed work developing and portraying characters, but I found great joy in working on a play as a whole and seeing it come to fruition from the ‘outside’ – a perspective which I will take into future work. Great theatre can be difficult to achieve, but I really believe that The Card was something special. I feel honoured to have been a part of it.