August 14 2015
With only 12 days to go until our preview performance, 3 of which being days off, the pressure is mounting; throw an ongoing game of assassins into the mix and you’ve got a recipe for an intense rehearsal period. Our days consist of hours of rehearsal; running scenes and exploring characters, discussing concepts and puzzling through suitcase dimensions for set transport. Topped off with the culinary marathon that is cooking for 20 people on a 4 ring hob, the days are long and tiring. Despite these challenges and pressures, we couldn’t be having a better time, and the days feel eminently productive. The first five days of serious rehearsal have gone swimmingly, and we are tearing through the show apace: the first half is blocked, we’re putting the last few movements into the second. All that remains is the ultimate test of a budding actor’s Shakespearean acting chops...the jygge. (cue 80s electro-pop bass synth)
Experimenting with characterisation through posture today has been a revelation as we slowly creep towards our final personae. Having travelled through a veritable grotesquerie of crooked backs, haughty chins and Toby’s version of a Hostess described as “a disgusting human being” our next task lies in integrating this work into the scenes themselves. Such a task is far from simple, but we have time and youth on our side, as well as an near boundless enthusiasm.
The atmosphere is impressively relaxed, with everyone giving freely to the collaborative process, and there is no doubt in our minds that, cometh the hour, we will be ready. Yet the play itself is only half the battle; a significant portion of the tour is given over to education in the form of workshops and talks within the schools and venues we visit. With this in mind, we need to find not only a way to make the theatre clear and accessible, but to get groups of American high school students up on their feet, swaggering like Petruccio and shrieking like Katherine. A challenge whose true extent will only be revealed once we touch down in the big USofA.
Will Peck/Bartholomew/Grumio/Widow/Friday August 14 2015