The Dell

Now is the summer of our disco tents

August 7, 2013

rehearsing in the woodsWe 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  |  No comments yet

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Teaching Shakespeare