Shakespeare's Globe

RSS Rehearsals 1

"It felt really nice to step out onto the stage during rehearsals, that’s quite unique to this theatre. You aren’t usually given that time, the first time you get into the theatre seriously is during Tech...it's just about getting used to all the special spots, the dead spots and indeed the magical spots..."

As rehearsals begin for King Lear, Emily talks to us about her previous experience and the unique experience of performing at the Globe.

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Time: 3 minutes 44 seconds

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Transcript of Podcast

Rona Kelly: Let’s get started on the next in our series of podcasts for King Lear, and today we are joined by Emily who is playing Goneril in this production.

Emily Bruni: Yes!

RK: We’re at the end of the day of rehearsals, so we've snuck away to do this quick interview! So, let’s get to know you a little bit better. What made you interested in the theatre when you were younger? What was the first thing that you saw or which you did, where you went, 'That’s what I want to do'?

EB: Oh God, it’s so boring my story! It was the school play. I was very young, about eight I think, and I think it was Coppélia we were doing. I had nothing to do in it! I think it was when all the toys wake up at night don’t they? So I just had to twiddle round in a tutu. I enjoyed it and I think I felt like I knew...it’s incredibly difficult to answer these questions without sounding really pretentious! I think I felt I knew what it was, it felt very familiar to me, and I felt I knew [it]. It didn’t feel like an alien thing, I felt very at home and like I knew what needed to be done in order to make these scenes come to life. And I had lots of ideas and just felt very at home.

RK: So, there’s just you spinning around in a tutu!

EB: Yes, so here I am ninety nine years later! Still trying!

RK: Can you tell us about your previous experience with Shakespeare?

EB: I haven’t done any Shakespeare for twenty years!

RK: Oh, wow!

EB: I went to the RSC when I left drama school for three years, and I did two Shakespeare plays. I did Much Ado [About Nothing], I played Hero in Much Ado, and I did The Winter’s Tale in which I played Perdita and Mamillius. And I’ve done nothing since then. I have seen quite a lot though.

RK: Have you seen anything at the Globe before, or is this your first time?

EB: I have. I saw Indira Varma in Titus Andronicus, she totally smashed it!

RK: You didn’t faint, you weren’t one of the forty fainters that day?

EB: No, no. Is that a frequent occurrence?

RK: In that production we reached our record breaking thirty nine faints in one performance, which was quite something! 

And having seen a show as an audience member and now coming back and getting ready to perform on that stage, what kind of challenges do you think that will present to you as an actor?

EB: It felt really nice to step out onto it during rehearsals, that’s quite unique to this theatre. You aren’t usually given that time, the first time you get into the theatre seriously is during Tech. And that’s great and you have a lot of time during Tech to get used to how much voice you need in the space that you're in, whilst people are focusing on other stuff. But I think it’s very useful in this space to get into it early, because it’s so unlike any other space I have worked in. I’ve never worked outdoors.

The only theatre I know of that has some resonance with this is The Swan theatre in Stratford, obviously. But even that one doesn’t extend so far back, it’s not so much of an ‘O’. It needs lots of vocal energy, it seems. I am just telling you what I am thinking about at this point, I may be wrong about all of it. Being quiet doesn’t seem like it’s an option at this point, although there may well be incredibly skilled people who are able to be quiet. Perhaps it’s something that is possible when you are very used to the space. And it’s just getting used to all the special spots, the dead spots and indeed the magical spots.

Thanks to Jane for the transcription of this interview.

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