Now is the summer of our disco tents
August 7, 2013
We are in the last weeks of rehearsal and preparation and are very excited indeed!
Rehearsals have been a bit sparse at times: Catesby has gone inter-railing, Hastings has fled to Scotland and Elizabeth Wodeville, Rivers and Grey have gone to Whitby.
I suggested they take the King's Troupe pop-up theatre idea to the beach and find a fisherman to stand in for Richard, an ice-cream lady for the Duchess and a life guard for the executioner (in a slightly unsettling role reversal).
I'm eagerly awaiting reports of how the tourists and residents reacted - I read in HMS Collingwood's blog that their local seagulls are partial to Shakespeare, even invading the stage while they performed: I hope to hear that the Whitby gulls are similarly discerning.
I spent the weekend catering for a small festival (Fran Fest) in North Yorkshire, the Director came to make cups of tea and the Prince of Wales brought a delicious orange cake. The festival was great, especially as we managed to recruit its organiser to our troupe to play the part of Norfolk.
I went for an early morning walk across the moors to go over my lines and pretended a Jacob sheep was Buckingham but drew the line at kissing its hand/ hoof.
We are an inter-generational theatre group and seem to be embracing the possibilities of inter-species drama what with the sheep, seagulls, Richard's elusive horse, the Plantagenet's white boar, the Princess' kittens and the messenger/ carrier pigeon (great costume by the way!)
Next week I am going camping in the Lake District with the Director, Richard, the Prince of Wales, Clarence, Richmond and the Prince(ss) in the tower and we may practice a scene or two atop Old Man Coniston. I'm sure we'll tell ghost stories and practice the haunting of Richard.
Most people don't realise this, but there is a definite nautical theme going on in Richard III with Margaret's lines about pirates, compasses and pillaging, and Richmond mounting his invasion from France: if Clarence will lend Richmond his kayak we can enact this and follow it up with a sunny picnic on Wild Cat Island.
We'll also be doing our best to tip Richard the black spot and cast him adrift in a seamless mix of William Shakespeare and Arthur Ransome...
by Ellen Mateer
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