"I think to be stuck and to just be saying, 'Right, this is my performance that I’m going to give', and to not deviate from that, I’ve found that I can’t do that here. You can’t do that here. The audience tell you what the scene’s about, which is a first..."
As the final production of the Summer of Love plays to its final audiences, Steve takes some questions from our online audiences.
Time: 3 minutes 17 seconds
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Transcript of Podcast
Rona Kelly: We’ve got some questions from Twitter. So these are from some of our lovely listeners.
Steve John Shepherd: They’re not scary ones, are they?
RK: They’re not scary ones! They’re not really in depth ones. We’ve got one from Kaitlyn and there’s two parts. The first one is, 'What’s your dream role?'
SJS: My dream role would be Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing.
RK: Aw! This is quite a good second question, then. 'If you could swap parts with anyone in Much Ado About Nothing, who else would you play?'
SJS: I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing Don Pedro and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed...I really enjoy playing him. I can truly say that, I really like being him because he is so much braver than I am.
RK: And Jamie has asked, 'Do you ever change the way you play certain parts of the play, based on the reaction of the audience?'
RK: Can you think of an example?
SJS: The gulling of Benedick scene is always [one], there’s always some interesting little things going on with the audience there. And the scene with Beatrice, where she refuses me; that has a very interesting, slightly anarchic energy which sometimes is quite dangerous or sometimes quite playful. It’s all dependent on what the house do. So I take a lot of my cues from the house actually, here. I really utilise what they do. That’s what I learnt.
I think to be stuck and to just be saying, 'Right, this is my performance that I’m going to give', and to not deviate from that, I’ve found that I can’t do that here. You can’t do that here. The audience tell you what the scene’s about, which is a first.
RK: Yes. Like you say, they are right there; they will just change it. It’s not like a traditional theatre.
SJS: And that’s brilliant. And that’s what’s so brilliant about this place.
RK: We’ve got two last questions. The first one is: can you share any behind-the-scenes secrets of working at the Globe?
SJS: Uh...the coffee’s really bad! Yes, it’s not great.
RK: It’s funny, though. Kevin McNally [King Lear], when we asked him, said something about drink as well. His was that you can’t drink on stage.
SJS: Alcohol? Yes. I’d quite like to have a beer in that gulling scene, but they wouldn’t let me! I asked, but they wouldn’t let me.
RK: Maybe Sunday?
SJS: I doubt it!
RK: No. And then, finally, what’s been a favourite moment from the whole run? Something which you’ll really take with you.
SJS: I don’t want to sound clichéd, but I’ve really enjoyed the process. It been a very long process; it was a long rehearsal, and it’s been a long run. So it’s definitely left its mark. And I’ve really learnt a lot about playing to an audience. Vocally, I’ve learnt a lot. And I think it’s made me a trifle braver, which can only be a good thing (I guess), if you’re going to be standing on stage and shouting your face off every night.
RK: Yes. Well, thank you for joining us.
SJS: Thank you, Rona. It’s been a pleasure.
RK: We like to give each of our actors a present, to say thank you for taking part in this. The last time we spoke to you, you said that you really wanted to keep the stilts, as much pain as they caused you.
RK: Well we couldn’t actually get you to keep those, because they’re very expensive. But what we got you instead is a bit of a cheaper alternative: some kids’ bucket-stilts! Bright yellow.
SJS: Oh, look at that! That’s very, very kind of you!
RK: You can draw some horses’ faces on there, if you want.
SJS: I will. Look at that, that's a lovely thing! Thank you so much.
RK: You are welcome.
SJS: I might go home in these!
RK: I wouldn’t! I think we had someone try and stand on them and they’re not very stable!
SJS: They don’t look very stable.
RK: You can walk a couple of steps. Thank you for joining us.
SJS: Thank you, Rona.
Thanks to Mary for the transcription of this interview.