Whispers from the Wings

The real Shakespeare Company

September 25, 2012

School pupils watching King LearAfter every show there is questions and answer session. As the performers change from character to actor I start the conversation with the audience about the play. With their eyes closed they think of memorable moments, and in pairs come up with some questions for the actors about the characters, the play and the production.

When the actors come back out they sit among the audience and hear their thoughts and questions before we open out the discussion to include the entire room. When we were at Archibald School there was an couple of young people who I spotted and went out to. Here is the conversation I had.

Caroline: (eager) Do you have any questions over here?
Caroline: (eagerly) No questions?
David: (pointing at his friend) Yes, you do.
A moment
Sam: (suspiciously) Are you the REAL Shakespeare Company - the RSC?
Caroline: Yes, we are. Why do you ask that question?
Sam: We'll it's just that it was set at Christmas and everyone was wearing new things.
Caroline: Have you seen King Lear before?
Sam: We studied the story at school.
Caroline: Were you surprised by this show?
Sam: Yeah.
Caroline: Why?
Sam: 'Cos I liked it.
Caroline: Good. Any other questions we can ask the actors when they come out for the talk?
David: Yeah - why does King Lear go mad?

And that seemed like a great way to start the discussion, and where the Real Shakespeare Company were put to work – and so I turned to Paul Copley, who is playing Lear – and I repeated Sam's question – Why does King Lear go mad? Everyone was listening…

by Caroline Byrne  |  No comments yet

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