Whispers from the Wings

Much ado about the first week

June 28, 2012

Arm wrestling witht he Much Ado castI'm gonna start this with an ethos. A mission statement, if you will. All the other (rather fab) blogs talk in length about the art of acting and an actor's trial and tribulations with The RSC. I'd hate to repeat or tread on familiar territory. Instead, this little blog will be kept quite light. If the other blogs are the Guardian or the Financial Times, I'm probably Heat Magazine or Grazia. Or maybe that supplement you get from The Mirror on a Sunday.

Anyway, back to matters at hand...

It'd been a long time in coming. For many of us. Whether it's the likes of Iqbal Khan (the director) or Meera Syal (Beatrice) who knew about this for about a year. To people like Peter Singh (Sexton) and I, who knew about this back in October last year and were eager to get on board. All of us, here at The RSC were uber-excited for this to finally kick off.

The first day of rehearsals – regardless of its magnitude or prestige – is like the first day of school. Nervousness. Excitement. Fear. Anxiety. All rolled into one. Everyone had donned their finest attire and was looking their Sunday best. In fact, the next time we'll probably be looking anywhere NEAR this dapper will probably be Press Night!

So here we are. In the middle of Clapham and in our rehearsal room. All 21 of us. And that's just the cast! Add all the creatives and some people who work in the RSC offices and that's QUITE a meet 'n' greet. How many names did I remember? Barely my own, I think.

The Much Ado cast meetIf you know what actors are like then you all know we're suckers for free food. An impressive selection of cakes, coffees and croissants are laid out for us to scoff. I notice that most of our initial pleasantries and conversations are slowly moving and gravitating towards the aforementioned breakfast buffet! How predictable we are....(!)

It was a real honour to be in a room full of such talented actors. Seriously. When I saw the cast Iqbal had assembled, my jaw dropped. And everybody's so lovely and welcoming. Whether we'll all be this nice come 11pm after a 13-hour technical rehearsal remains to be seen! ;o)

The rest of the day – once food scoffing had concluded – constituted of a gentle introduction to movement by Struan Leslie (RSC Head of Movement), a read-through of the play and a look at the model of the set. It looks a bit 'WOW!'.

Much Ado reharsalThe remainder of the week comprised of a lot more movement from Struan (really putting us through our paces), voice work by Lyn Darnley, a 'rhetoric' masterclass by Benet Brandreth, going through the script line-by-line and figuring the meaning (this took a couple of days) and THEN finishing off the week by discussing weddings we'd been to (NB: Claudio/Hero); Muslim, Hindu, Tamil and Sikh – culminating in an epic piece of improvisation around the various faiths and backgrounds.

There wasn't a 'Come On Eileen' or Pachelbel 'Canon' in sight. Phew.

by Muzz Khan  |  1 comment

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Sep 8, 11:52am
Harriet Daghorn

Loved this show so much we have now seen it two times and going to see it a third because we loved it so much! I was sitting on the side of the tree in the circle and they were great seats! I especially loved your part because all though it was a small part you acted it so well! Your an inspiration to me and now i have seen this show makes me consider maybe doing it for a job one day! Thanks for a great show and i will see you on thursday! x

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