April 22, 2013
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the walls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they have long known.
Stratford reminds me of a place in a JRR Tolkien novel. For me it could easily be a Middle-Earth Rhovanion. Shakespeare pilgrims have consecrated it - and quite rightly so - and its seemingly mythical quality will continue to be a part of its allure but there's something almost too perfect about the place.
I like seeing things in faces that aren't symmetrical or conventionally beautiful, like a broken nose, a scar, or a crooked tooth as they'll most likely have a story attached to them. I suppose I entertain a slight perversity in finding aesthetically ugly things rather charming.
Please don't think that I'm saying Shakespeare's birth place doesn't have a story, of course it does and please don't fear that I might run wild and lop bits off lovely Stratford - I only mean that I hope to discover that alongside its infamous beauty, steeped in history, I'll also find broken bones – or even a tiny person with hairy, big feet…
Stephen and I were in Rhovanion last Saturday filming the Titus trailer. Stratford College had kindly offered up one of their large catering kitchens for the day and the premise for filming was: 'Shakespeare's unwritten scene.' The scene in which Titus prepares the two pies he ultimately feeds to Tamora and Saturninus.
Stephen was shirtless but with black trousers and an apron and I was in a long white shirt, bare legs and flour all over my face.
There was talk of Stephen only wearing the apron and a pair of white briefs, like a cooking Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad, but this idea was dismissed early on the grounds of it being too distracting and a deviation from what Titus Andronicus is really about i.e. it's not about his pants.
We then had to wait a little while for the arrival of Yum Yum and her entourage.
Once she'd arrived, we began setting up for different shots of Stephen: stirring a pan, chopping meat, seasoning it. In the trailer Lavinia isn't involved in the physical preparation of the pies but is instead sitting quietly on the worktop, weirdly supporting. Yum Yum's there too, supporting, in her own very different way.
There will be blood, creatures, classical music and Stephen and I had such fun making it with Dusthouse productions.
I should also say that there'll be two versions: a U and then an R-rated for the kids.
by Rose Reynolds
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