It's ok to not understand

Learning Lines #1

Oliver Towse in rehearsal with Sarah Kameela Impey for First Encounters: The Tempest
Photo by Elle de Burgh © RSC Browse and license our images

It's been a great journey and one that has flown by. It seems like yesterday we were all nervously greeting the audience in the Swan Theatre when the tour first started back in January 2017.

The show has refined and has evolved into something different from when we started. Entrances overlap, never leaving the stage empty, Prospero exits left as Caliban slides in across the floor from the right and the room is always full of noise.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, the question and answer session at the end of the show is always good fun and our final performance in Stratford-upon-Avon was no different. The final questions that were asked were, 'Do you think this works?' 'How do you feel the youngsters pick it up?' 'Do you think it goes in?' 'What's the reason for doing it?'.

We answered as a cast, the conclusion being Shakespeare is a part of our history, of everyone's history, his plays and the themes within are timeless. They speak to us on a level we can all understand, work through the language and you will find things like, love, anger, hate, forgiveness, hurt, all things we feel and have felt everyday.

Shakespeare's plays need to be done up on your feet, connecting with everything you are, the language is indeed difficult and it's ok to not understand every word or sentence...but we all feel and I think that's all you need to start enjoying his beautiful work.

Oli Towse  

First Encounters with Shakespeare: The Tempest was a touring production designed specifically for 8-13 year olds. First Encounter productions are the perfect first introduction to Shakespeare. Using Shakespeare's original language, these edited version lasts 90 minutes and include a fully interactive introduction to the world of the play. 


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