nabokov's Brad Birch lets us in on the first day's rehearsals

Hello there. I’m Brad. I’m a playwright on the Present: Tense team and I’m writing a blog about our week of making a piece of theatre based on something we chose in the news. Firstly, the subject we chose is brilliant. BRILLIANT. I can’t say too much about it, but let me just say that I’m very excited about getting the lasers and the tigers and the half-robot half-rhino dancers into the space.

While us writers spent the weekend writing and the directors spent the weekend practicing their directions, today saw us meeting our actors and having a read-through of our scripts. Now, if you’re bored or waiting for a cheque then a week can seem a very long time. But when you’re putting on a play, a week goes faster than lighting and suddenly before you know it you’ve spent half your time just working out who wants sugar in their tea and you’ve got a whole show to organise. Nevertheless, we’re ploughing through.

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Newcastle and Gateshead are lovely (the central parts anyway – I haven’t seen the rest yet). Great big Georgian buildings and wide streets. I’m not exaggerating with GREAT BIG either – these buildings are bloody massive. Back achingly tall. You can see why Alan Shearer had almost two inches on most centrebacks in the premier league.

When we came down on the train on Friday there was a gang of bawdy melts coming to town for a stag-do. Thankfully, this behaviour is not representative of the town and if you’re thinking of coming to see our show on Saturday night then try the Italian by Live Theatre and the Baltic museum/gallery/gift shop on the Sunday.