Whispers from the Wings

What is it like to be in our shows? The cast and crew share their experiences in our Whispers from the Wings blog.

Settling in at lovely Stratford

Settling in at lovely Stratford

Whisper #95 - 15 October 2018

Charlotte and Oscar have moved to Stratford and she experiences the music of Troilus and Cressida for the first time.

Final week in London

Final week in London

Whisper #94 - 12 October 2018

Charlotte describes the final days of rehearsals in London and talks through some of the creative choices as the cast prepare to move to Stratford.

A few weeks in at rehearsals

A few weeks in at rehearsals

Whisper #93 - 9 October 2018

Charlotte and Esther work together on a difficult scene for Troilus and Cressida, but get a brilliant reaction from their rehearsal room audience.

In conversation with Brian Duffy

In conversation with Brian Duffy

Whisper #92 - 4 October 2018

Charlotte introduces Brian Duffy and explains how they are working together to create a visual script for Troilus and Cressida.

The first two weeks

The first two weeks

Whisper #91 - 1 October 2018

Charlotte sums up the first two weeks in rehearsals and her experience so far.

Getting the role

Getting the role

Whisper #90 - 28 September 2018

Charlotte's second vlog explains the audition process and getting the role of Cassandra in Troilus and Cressida.

The journey begins

The journey begins

Whisper #89 - 19 September 2018

Charlotte Arrowsmith talks about starting her journey with the RSC as a Deaf actor in Troilus and Cressida.

Stratford has never seen so much daal and honour

Stratford has never seen so much daal and honour

Whisper #88 - 6 September 2018

Amina explores the overlap between Tamburlaine and Tartuffe, and how honour is a key theme in both plays.

The white cockerel on the parapet wall

The white cockerel on the parapet wall

Whisper #87 - 4 September 2018

Amina gives us a glimpse inside the rehearsal room with the story of the song that has become the anthem for Tartuffe.

Beware the stench of holiness

Beware the stench of holiness

Whisper #86 - 28 August 2018

Amina explores the significance of religion and #MeToo in our upcoming production of Tartuffe.

If you saw a heatwave, would you wave back?

If you saw a heatwave, would you wave back?

Whisper #85 - 21 August 2018

Amina Zia takes us through the final week of Tartuffe rehearsals in London, and the connection between her and her character's Punjabi background.

Celebrating the RSC's unsung heroes

Celebrating the RSC's unsung heroes

Whisper #84 - 13 August 2018

Actor Graeme Brookes looks back on his time with the Swan Company and celebrates the incredible work of our teams behind the scenes.

“You staying on with the RSC then?”

“You staying on with the RSC then?”

Whisper #83 - 16 July 2018

As Graeme Brookes reaches the end of his time on The Duchess of Malfi, he reflects on the anxieties that come with looking for new work.

Let them look

Let them look

Whisper #82 - 25 June 2018

"I’m on a journey of learning to love this skin I live in" - Mercutio actor Charlotte Josephine on the joys of dancing and starting from the inside out.

The End of the Road or Euston Station Blues

The End of the Road or Euston Station Blues

Whisper #81 - 15 June 2018

"I am grateful for the rest but scared that I will never work again." Byron prepares for life after Lear.

The understudies take centre stage

The understudies take centre stage

Whisper #80 - 21 May 2018

Fresh from running the London Marathon, Graeme Brookes tackles his next challenge: acting as understudy in The Duchess of Malfi and Mrs Rich.

A New York state of mind

A New York state of mind

Whisper #79 - 1 May 2018

Byron Mondahl experiences life in New York as the King Lear company perform at Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Just like a family

Just like a family

Whisper #78 - 16 April 2018

Graeme Brookes talks The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich, bonding as a Company, and the highs and lows of working with your new family.

Barks from backstage

Barks from backstage

Whisper #77 - 9 April 2018

Theia the Dog tells us about the press night for The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich and the important differences between Deerhounds and Wolfhounds.

Not all actors are extroverts

Not all actors are extroverts

Whisper #76 - 3 April 2018

Byron Mondahl opens up about growing up as an introvert, and how that helps and hinders him as an actor.

Dogs are better than human beings...

Dogs are better than human beings...

Whisper #75 - 26 March 2018

Theia the Deerhound tells us about her exciting work on The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich.

The cat is out of the bag

The cat is out of the bag

Whisper #74 - 22 March 2018

Graeme talks about our blood-soaked production of The Duchess of Malfi and preparing for The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich.

On the Road

On the Road

Whisper #73 - 19 March 2018

Actor Byron Mondahl reflects on life on the road as part of the touring cast of Hamlet.

An impolite, abrasive, human experience

An impolite, abrasive, human experience

Whisper #72 - 5 March 2018

Counter Tenor Francis Gush discusses his transition from church singer to theatre performer in The Duchess of Malfi.

Raise the Roof

Raise the Roof

Whisper #71 - 27 February 2018

Actor Beth Cordingly shares her excitement at being the Prince in Romeo and Juliet, plus the physical demands of the rehearsal room.

British Sign Language and Shakespeare

British Sign Language and Shakespeare

Whisper #70 - 20 February 2018

Byron Mondahl talks about the experience of working with Becky Barry, a British Sign Language interpreter, on the Hamlet tour.

Death and comedy

Death and comedy

Whisper #69 - 20 February 2018

Graeme Brookes writes about acting in two very different plays, The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich and The Duchess of Malfi.

Fighting the Female Fear

Fighting the Female Fear

Whisper #68 - 12 February 2018

Charlotte Josephine writes about being cast as a female Mercutio in Erica Whyman's Romeo and Juliet.

The Hamlet tour begins

The Hamlet tour begins

Whisper #67 - 5 February 2018

Actor Byron Mondahl talks about preparing for the Hamlet tour as the cast and creatives arrive in Salford.

Counting down to opening night

Counting down to opening night

Whisper #66 - 9 October 2017

Actor Verity Kirk talks about the rehearsal processes for Twelfth Night and A Christmas Carol.

Carthage Video Diary: Shore

Carthage Video Diary: Shore

Whisper #65 - 7 September 2017

In her final video diary, Chipo Chung reflects on her visit to Carthage.

Carthage Video Diary: People

Carthage Video Diary: People

Whisper #64 - 23 August 2017

Chipo Chung talks to the people of Tunisia to find out more about the extraordinary Queen of Carthage.

Making a Drama Out of a Crisis

Making a Drama Out of a Crisis

Whisper #63 - 4 September 2017

The cast of Dido, Queen of Carthage spent the day with homeless charity Crisis to explore the ideas of home, journeys, and rebuilding lives.

Carthage Video Diary: Ruins

Carthage Video Diary: Ruins

Whisper #62 - 17 August 2017

Chipo Chung, the actor playing Dido in our forthcoming production of Dido, Queen of Carthage, visits the ruins of Carthage.

Mischief and Metamorphoses

Mischief and Metamorphoses

Whisper #61 - 10 July 2017

After finishing work on the Mischief Festival plays, Sarah turns her attention to Ovid and Coriolanus.

Making Salomé

Making Salomé

Whisper #60 - 8 June 2017

From the very beginning we all felt that there was something special happening in rehearsals.

Busking It

Busking It

Whisper #59 - 25 May 2017

It started as a series of sketches inspired by my experiences as a busker on the London Underground.

Rhythms, chords and melodies

Rhythms, chords and melodies

Whisper #58 - 16 May 2017

After a working weekend and many days of writing, recording and listening, it’s an interesting challenge to be playing with words.

Tech rehearsals

Tech rehearsals

Whisper #57 - 12 May 2017

Just when you feel that you have conquered your movement from one side of the stage to another, you move to the theatre and everything, I mean EVERYTHING, changes.

A Tale of Two Tables

A Tale of Two Tables

Whisper #56 - 25 April 2017

It’s so good to be back, in two very different shows and looking forward to spending the summer in Stratford with a great bunch of actors. I cannot wait!

Feeling lucky

Feeling lucky

Whisper #55 - 20 April 2017

It’s the first week of many in Stratford-upon-Avon working as composer in residence for the RSC and the composing has started!

Beginning's End

Beginning's End

Whisper #54 - 17 March 2017

I’m feeling a little guilty for my tardiness with this blog. To say I underestimated how busy we’d be with rehearsals is an understatement of Roman proportions.

Bring on the Swan!

Bring on the Swan!

Whisper #53 - 15 February 2017

The most common questions I get asked when I tell people I'm a theatre director are: “What does a director actually do?” and “Why do you want to direct theatre?” Answering these questions can be difficult.

Researching Rome (without time travel)

Researching Rome (without time travel)

Whisper #52 - 26 January 2017

The most helpful thing would be to step into a fancy vehicle, zoom back to Ancient Rome, wander around and find out what life was really like.

Part 2: Our Research Trip to China

Part 2: Our Research Trip to China

Whisper #51 - 26 January 2017

Part 2: Justin Audibert talks about his research trip to China in preparation for Snow in Midsummer

Part 1: Our research trip to China

Part 1: Our research trip to China

Whisper #50 - 26 January 2017

Part 1: Director Justin Audibert talks about his research trip to China and how it has influenced Snow in Midsummer

Rehearsals, Ghosts and our own Bushtucker Trial

Rehearsals, Ghosts and our own Bushtucker Trial

Whisper #49 - 26 January 2017

Jennifer Tang, assistant director of Snow in Midsummer, gives her account of the first few weeks of rehearsals.

Mary Beard Visits the London Rehearsal Rooms

Mary Beard Visits the London Rehearsal Rooms

Whisper #48 - 19 January 2017

We are still living in Rome - Mary Beard showed me just how true that statement was.

"We're working for the RSC!"

Whisper #47 - 5 January 2017

I checked the call sheet this morning and, like an idiot, still went in when I didn't need to - ignoring the enticing call of bed, I'm finally sitting down to write this blog.

I Felt Like a Rabbit in the Headlights

I Felt Like a Rabbit in the Headlights

Whisper #46 - 9 December 2016

It has been a while since I’ve put my fingers to keyboard, but an awful lot has happened, and I’m going to do my darndest to update you as concisely as possible.

The Big Red X That Slashed My Soul

The Big Red X That Slashed My Soul

Whisper #45 - 22 November 2016

In his latest blog, James Cooney - currently in King Lear at the Barbican - talks about failure, and how to "take a note and go home".

Not Quite Ready to Jump

Not Quite Ready to Jump

Whisper #44 - 7 November 2016

We are all back in the room together, beginning to entwine the various strands of the play. It's very, very exciting...

Or

Or

Whisper #43 - 27 October 2016

I am not entirely sure that we are supposed to laugh this much in rehearsal

Holiday Camp for actors

Holiday Camp for actors

Whisper #42 - 21 October 2016

Something that the average audience member might not grasp is the intensity of the work and the tightness of the community for the actors in Stratford

If in doubt, shout!

If in doubt, shout!

Whisper #41 - 16 October 2016

When I was a younger actor, I heard a phrase that stood me in good stead (for a short while)

Crossroads

Crossroads

Whisper #40 - 14 October 2016

I have learnt a lot in my year in Stratford - it has been so busy that it is surprising that we are already at the end of our time here

A Fool's Blog

A Fool's Blog

Whisper #39 - 22 September 2016

This is the 13th time I have performed with this company and as usual…..I’m terrified

The Barbican

The Barbican

Whisper #38 - 19 September 2016

The Barbican is a bizarre place. Probably about as bizarre as Stratford-upon-Avon but for very different reasons

Morris comes to Stratford and the Tech

Morris comes to Stratford and the Tech

Whisper #37 - 26 August 2016

"A cross between fascist dictator and Little Lord Fauntleroy" - the cast of The Two Noble Kinsman try on their costumes

It's good you came

It's good you came

Whisper #36 - 15 August 2016

I’ve been wondering: does it really make any difference how old your audience is?

Tell Your Story

Tell Your Story

Whisper #35 - 2 August 2016

It started back in March. Hamlet had just gone to press and once again I failed to keep to my own rule of 'Thou shalt not read reviews'

All Shook Up

All Shook Up

Whisper #34 - 1 August 2016

Zeus is in love with Elvis, a seven-month-old chihuahua/shihtzu cross puppy - it's the erotic, intoxicating, confusing, all-consuming throes of first love

Stratford survival guide

Stratford survival guide

Whisper #33 - 18 July 2016

In 3 weeks time the new Swan company will quite literally replace us in our beds. Here are some nuggets I wish to pass on

Morris Club

Morris Club

Whisper #32 - 11 July 2016

"The first rule of Morris Club..." See the actors of our new Swan shows in rehearsal

Show Call

Show Call

Whisper #31 - 7 July 2016

'Show call!' It felt like the world's most delicious carrot at the end of an eight month long stick

Australia

Australia

Whisper #30 - 4 July 2016

What am I doing? I can’t help but analyse my choice of career

Does Art Matter?

Does Art Matter?

Whisper #29 - 29 June 2016

There have been enormous events in the world that have rocked me to a cold silence

Spear Carrying

Spear Carrying

Whisper #28 - 13 June 2016

After living the dream the inevitable has happened. I am now a spear carrier at the RSC

Our secret world

Our secret world

Whisper #27 - 7 June 2016

Cymbeline: There is a strange world onstage and there is an even stranger one backstage

A Storytelling Place

A Storytelling Place

Whisper #26 - 6 June 2016

I am South African, I have lived there all my formative years and last week, I was put into contact with my old nursery school teacher

No Common Whore

No Common Whore

Whisper #25 - 1 June 2016

'Playing multiple parts and running rings around men': Eleanor talks about understudying Dol Common in The Alchemist

Mid-point madness

Mid-point madness

Whisper #24 - 5 May 2016

This Saturday was the exact mid-point of our time here in Stratford. Everyone is going a bit nuts.

The Stratford Spread

The Stratford Spread

Whisper #23 - 3 May 2016

At first I blamed it on bloating due to eating at bizarre times. Then I started blaming it on the positioning of my microphone pack.

The Magic of Theatre

The Magic of Theatre

Whisper #22 - 27 April 2016

I was laughing hysterically, elbowing Ian Redford. 'Magic really DOES exist!' I squealed loudly in his face

Speak up if you need to

Speak up if you need to

Whisper #21 - 25 April 2016

Being an understudy means you have to be ready to go on at a moment’s notice but accept that it may never happen.

Zeus Comes to Stratford

Zeus Comes to Stratford

Whisper #20 - 7 April 2016

Having my puppy in Stratford would complete me. I would no longer feel young or anxious or lonely. I would be winning in life

A Shadow

A Shadow

Whisper #19 - 31 March 2016

There is a shadow that sometimes moves between me and this happiness and it struck recently a few hours after writing my last blog

Where's Threlly?

Where's Threlly?

Whisper #18 - 25 March 2016

It is a really really good Friday. It is the first weekday I have had off since starting rehearsals for the RSC in November

Hell hath no fury...

Hell hath no fury...

Whisper #17 - 15 March 2016

I find myself writing this blog in moments when I feel overworked or overwhelmed

Electricity in the air

Electricity in the air

Whisper #16 - 14 March 2016

Somehow, two months have disappeared and we are finally into production week for Hamlet

Internet dating and Sonnet 129

Internet dating and Sonnet 129

Whisper #15 - 4 March 2016

I have simply been far too busy with the rehearsals for Hamlet to write about the rehearsals for Hamlet

A change is as good as a rest

A change is as good as a rest

Whisper #14 - 7 March 2016

The fact that I am here, head pounding, sipping on a cup of polystyrene-tasting tea shows just how committed I am to my escape

The show must go on

The show must go on

Whisper #13 - 29 February 2016

The audience fell silent, aware that this was unusual. Something was wrong...

Learning to understudy

Learning to understudy

Whisper #12 - 29 February 2016

You might, if you have been reading all my blogs, be wondering why I have not written very much about the day to day rehearsals of Hamlet

Another opening, another show

Another opening, another show

Whisper #11 - 18 February 2016

Our return to Don Quixote began with a speed line run, our bodies in a state of catatonic fatigue

Delirious glee

Delirious glee

Whisper #10 - 18 February 2016

There is nothing quite like that feeling of turning the corner and seeing that theatre waiting for you and knowing you are not a stranger

Coming home to Stratford

Coming home to Stratford

Whisper #9 - 9 February 2016

It's a weird feeling getting back to the Royal Shakespeare Co. You come back home

Enter Lucifer upstage right

Enter Lucifer upstage right

Whisper #8 - 8 February 2016

Hell is other people. Hell is other people in tech. Tech is hell. Our play is set in hell

I had to stop hiding in loos

I had to stop hiding in loos

Whisper #7 - 5 February 2016

Byron goes back to the playground to bring an ancient text closer to our time

“So what does an Assistant Director actually do?”

“So what does an Assistant Director actually do?”

Whisper #6 - 1 February 2016

It depends on which director I am assisting and what the play needs - vague but true

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