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15th June 2013

First Musketeer Rehearsals

An ambitious new historical epic series is underway
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas is one of the most famous stories there is. It's about to gets an inventive and exciting development by writer and director Harriet Sams.

Titled "The First Musketeer" this new story is a brand new and original action/adventure series which follows Athos (Charles Barrett) upon his arrival in Paris, as he meets the people who will eventually become the swashbuckling, loyal and all round lovable rogues we know and love. The series will be shot in the South of France later in the year.

One of the most important elements of creating an action packed adventure series is to actually have some action. With that in mind ID Fight co-ordinator Ronin Traynor has been brought onto the project as Swordmaster. With rapier & dagger being the musketeer weapons of choice and also the foundation weapon for many stage combat organisations it's a weapon system most stage combat teachers and students have come to know and love – so no pressure there then!

Before starting principle choreography Ronin organised an induction combat weekend to meet the cast, assess what skill level there was amongst the cast and how much further training would be available to get everyone ready for the very ambitious amount of fights that would need to be filmed in such a short time when on location.

Assisting Ronin on the combat weekend was ID Fight Unit member Dita Tantang who is pretty handy with a rapier. Harriet Sams had made the wise decision to cast a number of experienced fighters in some of the lead roles so the training session could progress quickly with the more experienced cast helping those who were new to sword work. There was also a friendly face in Alan J Mirren (Cardinal Richelieu) who Ronin had worked with way back in 2009 when fight directing for "Tis Pity She's a Whore" in which Alan got to do some pretty nasty knife work.

After day one of the workshop the cast took to the local pub so day two had the morning after feeling for some (no names mentioned). Having to fight safely when suffering from lack of sleep will likely be a good training experience for such an intense shooting schedule in France.

This was the first training session with the cast and hopefully there will be time for many more before we head off to France. We will also be bringing members of the ID Fight Team over to play some of the other characters in this compelling story.

Hopefully we can do justice to Dumas and all the films that have told his story over the years, who knows perhaps "The First Musketeer" will become a future classic in its own right.

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