Whispers from the Wings


March 22, 2012

So... err, ahem. Yes, I have been rather quiet of late. As soon as rehearsals kicked off proper, it became clear that things which were once everyday occurrences (watching TV, replying to emails, updating my blog!) were now rare luxuries that time would not afford me.

So, to bring you up to speed:

We spent the first half of rehearsals focussed on 'tablework'. In theatre-speak this means studying the text, and, when it comes to Shakespeare, working out what the bloody hell it means!

Discussing characters' backstories, relationships, motivations, etc. We did some historical research into the family of King John - the Plantagenets- including a visit from David Starkey.

Having made a strong track record of controversy, I suppose we ought to have expected nothing less from Starkey than kicking the session off with conversation killers like 'King John is Shakespeare's dullest villain' and his going on to berate the play in general as boring.

Experience, however, is a wily beast that often abandons us at key moments, and Mr Starkey was faced with a room full of rather peeved actors.

But you know what they say about research, it's like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get...

And when our Trainee ASM Polly brought Starkey his tea, mid-flow, our guest politely requested 'a little more milk' without so much as the bat of an eyelid. This instinctive and automatic exercise of status proved very useful in developing King John's role of the leader...

After this we moved onto the next stage of putting the play up on its feet, and began to watch it take shape...!

by Sophie Ivatts  |  No comments yet

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Teaching Shakespeare