I've written a little about the process of The Juliet Inquiry in an earlier blog post, but here's a little update. I've been rehearsing/writing with my cast for the last few weeks now and we're reaching endgame. Three more major rehearsals with witnesses and various smaller meetings. It is a deceptively simple play to produce. The witnesses are guided by the senior QC (in this case me) and, because there are no scenes with more than a couple of protagonists, you rehearse quickly. I've been working, to different degrees, with the cast to mould how each character speaks. I presented each actor with a basic synopsis, then we read the rough 'script' a few times, looking for new questions. Then I'd ask those questions and see what the actor would improvise. We'd then move to a big screen television and link it to my laptop and rewrite as we went along. Each witness has around ten minutes of evidence to give, so we can run the new script several times. I then sent them away for a week or so and reworked their testimony based on what the others were saying. And the process began again.
Then, last week, I realised I really needed a new character. There were several reasons. The story was becoming one sided, I needed someone to balance the bias. Also, the story, being based on Shakespeare, was a bit too male (both dead and alive) and (partly because I have a policy of positive discrimination for women) I needed at least one more female voice. I also really liked the idea of giving a voice to the unseen character Rosaline from the original play. Just who is it that Romeo first thought he was in love with?
But this is with a week to go and though I knew exactly what I wanted to do, I did need to find someone to play the part. Which I finally secured yesterday - so now I'm off to write Rosaline. It'll be interesting to get to know her.
Only three days before the show goes up. Is that cutting things a bit fine?