The Next Stage Begins

the set takes shape

the set takes shape

Lights up.  An empty shop unit.  From beyond the roller shutters the faint sound of shopping centre music can be heard. Over this, hammering and tapping.   Production managers, designers, and builders are painting and constructing.  They are wading their way through paint pots and tools, making a dark disused shop look colourful and beautiful.

Enter directors, musicians, performers…

So here it is.  The beginning of rehearsals for The Corner Shop.  The designing and making team have been working in the space for a couple of weeks now, and tomorrow the performers will arrive for the first day of rehearsals.

It’s immensely exciting being in the space in its current state of development.  It’s surprisingly quiet.  Muffled sounds float up the stairs from the workshop area on the floor below. There are hushed voices of the production team as they focus on their tasks. Heads are down, overalls donned, and the large shop shell is filled with the smell of paint, the gentle sound of drilling, and quiet swishes of paint rollers rolling.

Standing at the end of where the ‘street’ will be, you can see familiar spaces, rooms, and shops begin to unfold.  Gigantic wooden boxes containing memories of acid pink sweet shop walls, 1980’s living rooms and market stalls.

Whilst the team are hard at work inside, outside on the floor of the shopping centre intrigued passers by stop and investigate the window display, which invites them to step inside the corner shop.

Upstairs, the set is taking shape and downstairs, the props are collected and stored.  There are empty suitcases everywhere.  Shelves and side units are stacked alongside one another, waiting to be placed in their rooms and filled with records, books, and family pictures. Black and white chequered lino floors, mats and rugs are ready for unrolling. Giant foil wrapped sweets await hungry eyes. Clocks lie redundant on table tops, waiting to be hung on walls, to be wound on and watched.

And, in another room at the back of the shop space, a costume rail holds a 1960’s mini dress, a bright orange body warmer, brightly coloured scarves and shop keepers overalls.  Aside from this, the room is empty.  That is, until the performers arrive tomorrow morning with fresh newly printed scripts in their hands. Another layer will be added to our growing world of The Corner Shop.  The next stage begins.

I’ll be blogging on a daily basis from now on, so keep looking in on us for regular updates on the ever changing set and the rehearsal process.

Rochi Rampal, Performer


3 Responses to “The Next Stage Begins”

  1. Steve Says:

    I’m looking forward to it all too – feels like a long time since last year!

  2. malcy J Says:

    This is very evocative. I can really feel how it must be for you, and I am filled with excitement too at the prospect of seeing it again. I keep looking at that big staircase and imagining dramatic exits and entrances.

    As you describe it the costume room doesnt feel empty. I get a vivid picture of the ghosts of shoppers past and present passing through.

    I cant wait to see the next post


  3. Jessica Harper Says:

    Im really looking forward to it! Great blog!

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