Shakespeare's Globe

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"I was worried I wouldn’t be loud enough, I wouldn’t be heard...It’s just a process of learning, of feeling your edges really. Feeling how fast you can go, feeling how quiet you can go, noticing how you need to use your voice in a space that’s almost in the round..."

Taking us through Tech Week at the Globe, Emily talks about the preparation for the cast and creative team during this period.

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Time: 3 minutes

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Transcript of Podcast

Rona Kelly: We’ve nipped downstairs, just before a matinee performance of King Lear with Emily, who has been playing Goneril. And it’s been a while since we caught up hasn’t it?

Emily Bruni: Yes!

RK: It’s been a little while. Why don’t we flash back and tell us a bit about how Tech Week went (which is ages away by the way)?

EB: So Tech Week is when you take the play out of the rehearsal room and put it in the theatre. But Tech Week is essentially in order to rehearse all the technical aspects of show. So you’re putting in the costumes, the lighting, the music, any sound effects. It’s there for Stage Management to practice, musicians, the Designer to sort out the set, and how everything looks. So the focus is on that. 

But what’s great about Tech Week for actors is that you get lots of time on stage, without being the focus. So you get time to get used to the space, to use your voice in the space, to start to feel how much sound you need to make, hopefully without there being too much focus on what you’re doing.  

RK: When we spoke way back when, you said it’s your first time here. How have you found vocally getting used to that space?

EB: You know, it was a worry. I was worried I wouldn’t be loud enough, I wouldn’t be heard. But like all these things, once I got used to it and had done a lot of repetition and practice, it starts to feel much more manageable. I was noted at the beginning by Janice, who is in charge of the Voice Department here, that I was going too slowly for my efforts to be heard and understood in this vast outdoor space! I was going too slowly. So it’s just a process of learning, of feeling your edges really. Feeling how fast you can go, feeling how quiet you can go, noticing how you need to use your voice in a space that’s almost in the round. You’ve got your back to a lot of people a lot of the time, wherever it is that you’re standing on stage. And now I don’t think about it, which is a huge relief. And it should be like that.

RK: I guess as well, here you get a little bit of time before the show starts to go out on stage and warm up a bit, whether that’s vocally or just stretching, getting a feel for the space which is quite nice.

EB: Yes and you’re also very supported in this theatre. You’re very supported by the Voice Department and you get to have time on stage, which is very unusual. You usually have to make that big transition just in the Tech itself. But here you get to spend a bit of time on stage, which also feeds back into what you’re doing in rehearsals. So you can hold the size of the space in your imagination when you’re working out what you’re doing in the rehearsal room.

RK: That’s lovely.

EB: Which is really unusual.

Thanks to Janet for the transcription of this interview.

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