Andrew has now had his first voice session on the Globe stage – this proved difficult as Andrew felt that his voice and natural accent did not work well in the Globe theatre.
Transcript of Podcast
Andrew has now had his first voice session on the Globe stage – this proved difficult as Andrew felt that his voice and natural accent (SE London) did not work well in the Globe theatre – lots of sound was lost. He now has to solve this problem and is looking at where Gratiano speaks from – maybe his head. Andrew also believes that the energy he brings on stage as an actor will be vitally important if he is to be able to communicate clearly in the Globe.
Andrew feels that Gratiano's first entrance should really change the mood of the scene and that he should be like a ‘bombshell’ in contrast with Antonio's sadness. If the scene were a piece of music Gratiano would be the trumpets and would come in loud and blasting.
Gratiano is the only person who marries in the play and does not gain by it financially; therefore Andrew feels his marriage to Nerissa must be for love, although they come from different backgrounds and classes.
Gratiano means grace. Andrew feels that Nerissa grounds Gratiano and gives him grace.
As part of the rehearsal process the whole company went away for a residential week to an old air craft base where they created the appropriate environment for their characters and acted out the scenes that are not in the play – in other words what happens to the characters when they are not on stage. This is helpful because it gives the cast a common memory, which they can draw on in later rehearsals.
Andrew feels that Gratiano is the kind of person who would not do very well at exams! He is always playing a part – one of his first lines is "Let me play the fool" – he talks about putting things on, when he goes to Belmont with Bassanio he agrees to "..put on a sober habit". At one part in the production he will also wear a rabbit costume – for Andrew it is as if Gratiano is always trying on different roles - this ends after he meets Nerissa in Belmont.
One thing that Andrew has to decide is if Gratiano has meet Nerissa before he goes to Belmont as there is no space in the text for this to happen.
Andrew would like Gratiano to be a very attractive character as this then makes his racism even more difficult to deal with.
Gratiano speaks about animals a lot "let no dog bark"; he also describes his desires as "wolfish" – all canine references. This might give Andrew a way into Gratiano's character and the way he looks.
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.