Whispers from the Wings

Bring on the noise

October 30, 2012

Kng Lear on stageSo we had our first week in New York and in our first show I had an amazing experience where a young person offered me $20 dollars as poor Tom when I asked for 'charity'. It was so shocking I forgot my next line.

It's the first time that I have been offered so much money by a person during a show, in fact, all the shows put together... but it got me thinking about how well we have been treated in the city.

The Armoury will always have a special place for me as it was where we performed the Shakespeare plays with the long ensemble last summer.

The Americans have had a beautiful way of welcoming us on both occasions and it's a shame we can't stay here longer then two weeks. After all who wouldn't want to spend longer in New York doing a job they love?

There are certain rules that we follow when going to the theatre as adults. One of those is the absolute silence when watching a performance, but the truth is that when Shakespeare's company performed over 400 years ago, the audience was not silent. They would comment on the scene, shout at the performance and even throw the odd tomato. But through time things have changed in theatres and the audience no longer 'speak what they feel'.

A young audience is not used to these 'rules' and the truth is they naturally comment or react when things happen on stage, but in America, the reaction is bigger then it's been in England. This is not a complaint but a simple observation.

There is something incredible when hearing an audience react to what we are doing on stage. I'm sure it is something that Shakespeare would be proud of as much as we are because it means that we as actors are telling the story of King Lear and making our audience react the way Shakespeare wanted them to. Bring on the noise.

by Dharmesh Patel  |  No comments yet


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Teaching Shakespeare