Shakespeare's Globe

RSS Rehearsal 1

It's the first week of rehearsals and Laura talks about her initial impressions of the play and her character.

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Time: 3 minutes, 17 seconds

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Transcript of Podcast

Can you summarise The Comedy of Errors in 30 seconds?

It’s a play about love, loss, and then losing something and finding it again. And it’s an incredibly moving tale but it’s also very mad-cap. I suppose the themes are brotherly love, sisterly love and love of a family. And also the difficulties that come up within those relationships, the whole mis-identity thing as well.

What are your initial impressions of your character?

I’d say that she likes to be in control, she’s used to getting what she wants, she’s incredibly impulsive, she’s quite spoilt but actually there’s a vulnerability to her as well. She’s wealthy, she’s tenacious and very bright, but she’s a nag, and she’s petulant, and she can behave like a child, and she can get wound up very easily. But she’s genuinely in love with her husband. She’s very proud but she puts on a good front when she thinks everything is falling around her basically.

How does Adriana compare to other female Shakespeare characters you have played at the Globe?

I did Bianca, first of all, and there’s something quite similar with those characters because Bianca knows what she wants and, you know, that’s a sisterly relationship as well in The Taming of the Shrew and she’s quite spoilt and used to getting her own way; in those ways they’re similar. With Celia in As You Like It, I think they’re quite different, although Celia’s another strong character, she actually has a much softer side and she, in the second half of the play, is almost mute; she doesn’t say anything but it’s all there in her actions, whereas I don’t think Adriana would ever stop speaking, she likes to be the one who does all the talking. And of course Lady Macbeth, well, I think Adriana would like to be able to manipulate her husband in the way that Lady Macbeth does, but Adriana starts to lose control in the way that Lady Macbeth does in the second half of the show. So I think Shakespeare does write very strong women and I’m lucky enough that I’ve been able to play a lot of those here.

Do you think of a back-story for your character?

Well the marriage has been arranged, they haven’t been married very long but she’s already aware that there have been difficulties. I think she’s aware that he can have a bit of a wandering eye so the moment that he’s not back, he’s late for lunch, she immediately jumps to the conclusion that he’s with one of his other women. So, in that respect, that’s the back-story I’ve thought of in respect to the events of the play. But I haven’t really thought of her as a child at the moment because we’re still quite early on in the rehearsal process, particularly for me, because I haven’t done the other shows of it when they did it before, so I’m sure that those sorts of things I can think about.

What relationships are important to your character?

Definitely the relationship with my sister, they’re incredibly different and they know how to wind each other up, but there is still a love there. And then my relationship with Antipholus and, I suppose, in this version, both Antipholuses; she thinks they’re both the same person. And, to a certain extent, the relationship with the Dromios as well because she’s used to bossing them around. But I’d say mainly Antipholus and Luciana.

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