Shakespeare's Globe

RSS Production Notes 3

This is Tonia's final blog post. This week she discusses re-rehearsals, her final reflections on Cordelia, and the experience of performing on the Globe stage.

Transcript of Podcast


We have just had a light week of re-rehearsal. We began by talking to Barry [Kyle, Master of Play] individually about what we wanted to change and why. A lot of the changes didn’t involve me. I found that most of the things that I wanted to change could be done during performance. I find it easier that way, and they were such small things that they didn’t need to involve Barry.


I have been trying to make my voice and movements less complicated. When we started the play I felt as though I didn’t really have the ‘essence’ of Cordelia. I feel that finding the right quality of voice for her may help me to find her ‘essence’. I have also been trying to establish my relationship with the audience. Cordelia doesn’t have that many scenes with dialogue. She talks to the audience and I need to find the right manner in which to speak to them. I think that Cordelia's speeches are often a very public way of dealing with something that is intensely private. I find that all the other characters in the play are very impulsive and that Cordelia is the character who says ‘let's consider this’. She uses the words ‘know’ and ‘knowledge’ all the time and I think that she is trying to understand and consider things very deeply and carefully.

Performing at the Globe

The audiences at the Globe vary from day to day. In the opening scene they can often be very distracted as they are still thinking about what they have just been doing. However, sometimes they are still and focused right from the start. It is amazing to see how a large group of people take on their own personality. I like it when you can feel a very strong concentration from the audience. I can feel their concentration when I come on in the second half. Usually they are totally absorbed. I try to come on with a different energy. With my entrance I try to create more space. Cordelia's entrance is a huge contrast to all the people that are on before her. All the action before her entrance is about desire and need. Suddenly, Cordelia enters and the world is changed to a place where there is space and time to think and consider. Cordelia has a different pace and energy to everyone else in King Lear. I try to emphasise this when I go on stage. Sometimes it works better than at other times. Obviously this has a lot to do with my performance. However, at times I feel that this change in pace is exactly what the audience needs. I can almost feel them take a breath. At other times they seem to want to continue with the action and not listen to me.

I feel a lot more comfortable with the play now than I did at first. In the last two or three weeks I feel that I have something to work towards. I feel I am well on the way to understanding Cordelia and that I have tapped into something I can develop. I am really enjoying myself.


These comments are the actor's thoughts or ideas about the part as s/he goes through the rehearsal process – they are simply his/her own interpretations and frequently change as the rehearsal process progresses.

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