Ireland – eventually

Lesley Roy, First Rehearsal, Ireland, Rotterdam Ahoy, 8 May 2021 — EBU / Andres Putting
Lesley Roy, First Rehearsal, Ireland, Rotterdam Ahoy, 8 May 2021

And in what feels like no time at all we’re on the last rehearsal of the day. Blimey that’s gone quickly. Maybe it was because I opted for that biertje after all…?

Lesley Roy, First Rehearsal, Ireland, Rotterdam Ahoy, 8 May 2021 — EBU / Andres Putting
Lesley Roy, First Rehearsal, Ireland, Rotterdam Ahoy, 8 May 2021

Ireland, with Maps. Will Lesley Roy have managed to find her way here, or is she still dashing around the Irish countryside? I have this down as one that could go either way and I feel it’s all resting on what she brings to the stage. I’ve heard it’s “artistic” and “creative”, adjectives that could apply to a significant range of possibilities.

20 minutes in and not a peep on the stream. I’m beginning to think someone’s given her the wrong map. The EBU blog says only that the staging looks “interesting” – have we got something technically challenging causing some problems, I wonder?

The EBU popped up a note to say that due to the complexity of the staging we’d have to wait until the second rehearsal to see it, but suddenly there she was and we got a full run through. It, erm, certainly is “interesting”…

There’s a LOT of effects going on. Screen overlays, Lesley poking her head through what looks like a giant flower and standing in the middle of two enormous flicker books. Then she’s under a wave. Then, oh, I don’t really know what’s going on. The whole thing is filmed with some close-up camera work, very intimately framed, a technique that served Loreen well in 2012.

She’s the second artist to use the catwalk but seems to be concentrating a bit too much in getting there for the time being. As she walks to there the rest of the shot opens up and we see the various props and contraptions in silhouette on the stage. It feels bit of a strange frame to be honest.

There’s so much going on here, and much of it needs to be tightened up. There are some shots that wrongly frame the props and the transition between some is out of time. But of course, this is what a rehearsal is for and one of the joys of this access is seeing how well everything can come together on the night. The rumours weren’t wrong: this is definitely artistic and creative, though whether that’s a gamble that’s paid off – well, it’s a little too early to tell. An intriguing way to close the day!

That’s a wrap for today then. Russia leads for me, and by some margin. We’re back tomorrow morning, with 9 countries to see. Thanks for reading us today.

Monty x

Image Credits: EBU / Andres Putting, EBU / Andres Putting .