Whispers from the Wings

Strawberry. Raspberry. Dogberry?

July 10, 2012

'...Hey y'all! How YOU doin'? I could sure moider a cuppa cawfee...'

Okay, so nobody ACTUALLY said that. But, yep, Monday of week three kicked-off with the arrival of The Wooster Group. The whole building was very excited and bodies were a-trembling! (Definitely NOT just me this time!) The last time the Woosters were here, I was at drama school. That was a decade ago. Where DOES the time go, eh?

Although we won't have much to do with the Troilus and Cressida company (apart from pleasantries and gossip in the Green Room), it's still electrifying and galvanising to be in the company of superb theatrical talent.

Something I've been really excited about is the wealth of great programming for the World Shakespeare Festival.

garlands in the rehearsal roomWhoever it was that curated the RSC/WSF programme gets a big tick from me. Whether it's getting the cream of European or South American talent, or bringing in The Woosters, or setting Julius Caesar in Africa, or setting Much Ado About Nothing in India or broadcasting I, Cinna (The Poet) as a LIVE webcast – I've been impressed by the levels of creativity and ingenuity that's helped to shape it all.

It's incredible. I was a theatre-goer first and an actor second, so all this stuff still gives me the quivers.

But back to acting, this was the week that tiredness kicked in. In abundance. Most mornings kicked off like this:

'Morning! You alright, mate?'

'Yeah... tired.'

'Me too.'

'Well, masters, we hear our charge: let us go sit here upon the church-bench 'til two, and then all to bed.' - Hugh Oatcake, Act 3, Scene 3.

rehearsing with the armyIt's been a full-on three weeks. We've had a Kathak master in to teach us some moves. It's good to get that style of movement in our bodies. It helped to ground us – as well as giving us Moves Like Jaginder...(!) We've also had a former Indian Army General in to give us a talk about the regiment and the naughtiness soldiers get up to. Aye. There will be LOTS of men in uniform in the play.

*feel free to swoon HERE*

Joanna Lumley dropped by this week and said 'hello' to a couple of the cast members as she was passing. I thought it'd be an absolutely fabulous(!) idea to get her in and do a cameo in Much Ado. I then realised that this was a very stupid idea and my mouth remained closed.

As well the usual voice calls with Lyn and Budgie, movement with Struan and the costume fittings (which – by the way – look phenomenal), we started staging the opening of the play. Very exciting. We're finally getting down to the nitty-gritty now.

much ado rehearsal roomAt the end of the week the heat in our rehearsal room (which is situated at the top of the building) is becoming pretty intense. Intolerable is too strong a word but it IS pretty roasting. Ah well, at least it's giving us a taste of Indian weather. We won't need to act it as we've all felt it in Clapham! (Who'd've thought?)

I think we'll have ALL lost a good few stones by the end of rehearsals. If you see a cast of skeletons on stage when you come up to The Courtyard in Stratford - that'll be us.

by Muzz Khan  |  No comments yet


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