Whispers from the Wings

The universe and everything

January 8, 2013

The universe is a fascinating place when you really start to look at it. Mystery and revelation swim hand in hand way up there in the dark.

To think that one day someone pointed a telescope up there and began to piece together the secrets of the universe.

What astounds me most, is that long before Galileo ever did that, scientists had already begun to use mathematics and astronomy to try and piece together the movements of the stars, the planets and Earth's place amongst them.

I read a fascinating fact the other day. There are 130 million photoreceptor cells in our eyes, give or take. In each of those cells are 100 trillion atoms; more than all the stars in the Milky Way. Since energy never dies, each atom in each cell in our eyes formed in the core of some distant star billions of years ago during the Big Bang and is now being used to capture the energy released from that process.

Mind blowing? Imagine finding out that everything you were taught about the universe and the stars was wrong.

Well, we are up and rolling with rehearsals for A Life of Galileo. This is my third time working with Roxana Silbert, our director. Her rehearsal room is a real and genuine pleasure.

She has such a great energy about her and consistently manages to create a sense of ease and comfort within the room. We are joined by three new members of the acting company. Jodie McNee, whom I worked with here last year. Joel Gillman who plays Little Monk, and the great Ian McDiarmid playing Galileo.

Ian is of course widely known for playing the evil emperor in Star Wars. I grew up having nightmares about him.... which is the highest praise I can think of for an actor playing a bad guy in a sci-fi picture. It's incredibly exciting to be a part of this project with him and with a director I admire so much.

We read and re-read through the play in the first week. Listening for clues as to where the actors are taking their characters.

Of course, this is the first time we get to do a read through when we know the other actors present. When we started the contract, none of us knew each other very well, so the read through was an opportunity to hear the actor. This time, we have an opportunity to hear the character.

There's a point in the play where Galileo refers to the moons of Jupiter disappearing around 'the dark side.' A whole table of grinning actors, without a doubt as to how lucky they were.

by Youssef Kerkour  |  No comments yet


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Teaching Shakespeare