Paul talks about rehearsals so far, including beginning to work with the two princes that his character Tyrrell must murder. He jokes, "It will be good to put a face to the people I'm talking about killing, it's always good for the acting!"
Time: 6 minutes 52 seconds
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Transcript of Podcast
So can you talk me through what you’ve been doing in rehearsals so far then?
Well, big ‘Meet and Greet’ on the first day, where we met most of the Globe and then we started rehearsals, Tim Carroll, director, hasn’t done a read-through. I mean, a lot of directors traditionally will sit down on the first day, you’ll meet and greet, you have your coffees, you say hello and stuff like that, then you, at some point during that first day, will sit down and do a read-through. What often happens is: everyone gets a bit nervous, you don’t really listen to a word anyone’s saying while they’re reading the play, until it gets to your bit, and you feel exhausted and start getting sleepy when you’re not speaking and all this sort of stuff. So in order to avoid all that, I think, and to get people thinking about the play and making sure they knew the story, we went through the play, we did exercises around scenes, reading scenes but on its feet, and doing games with balls, and practicing the rhythm of the lines with balls, and saying things from the audience as other people were speaking to get them to make their lines kind of more active and respond to what the audience was saying. By the end of it, it took the first two weeks to get through the whole play, mucking around with it, as it were, like that, but by the end everyone was very, very familiar with the whole play and everyone else’s scenes in it. And we’ve just started the third week, so now we’ve been doing some exercises but we are also doing scenes on its feet and we’ve got - in rehearsal we’ve got two pillars like the Globe and the doors marked out, and we’ve started to think about using the space, and I think we’ve got another four weeks before the show; oh God, that’s not very long! But, you know, you can do a lot, and actually it’s quite often you go, “God, we don’t have time to do all these games!” But actually you do, and it’s really good, because you’re understanding the play deeper and you can ask lots of questions and things.
What relationships in the play are important for your characters?
Hastings, his main relationship is with Richard and also with his friend Stanley. Stanley is another nobleman who also comes in and warns him that he has a bad dream about Richard and various meetings that are being held, he thinks, behind their back and he suggests they flee London. It’s Stanley that comes in and says this to him and Hastings ignores him, he says, “You’re overreacting, we’ll be fine, he’s going to use us kindly.” And how wrong he is! There’s Stanley, there’s Richard, there’s the Queen, Elizabeth, who is King Edward IV’s wife. Catesby is Richard’s henchman. I don’t know that he’s a henchman in the sense that he’s carrying out some bad, sort of, behind the scenes work for Richard, I just know he is close to Richard and he is, I suppose, he’s part of our circle, because I’m close to Richard, but what I don’t know is that, you know, he’s about to become an enemy. But then, I mean, in all the court scenes, basically, Hastings has to meet everyone, so he meets the King. King Edward is also his master, he’s loyal to King Edward and that’s what gets Hastings the chop in the end because he refuses to recognise Richard’s right to the crown ahead of the two princes who, eventually, Richard kills. So he meets pretty much everyone while he’s alive. The only people he doesn’t have scenes with are Lady Anne and Richmond, and then he dies at the end of Act 3.
And Tyrrell, his only relationship is with Richard and the two murderers that he’s hired to do the killing, who you never meet but you hear him talk about them. And also the third factor in all this is the relationship with the audience. So you know, Tyrrell will have a relationship with the audience when he’s speaking to them.
Are there any scenes that are specifically significant in the interpretation of these characters? A particular moment that you think, sort of, sums them up?
Yeah, well, for Hastings I think it’s the scene where he’s woken up by Stanley’s servant, whom I mentioned earlier, Stanley, his friend, who’s had a dream about a boar, a wild boar, charging at them both and taking their helmets off. And so he gets warned by the servant that Stanley’s had a dream, then Catesby comes in and says, “Would you support Richard if he went, aimed for the throne?” And Hastings says, “No, I’d rather have my own head chopped off than that”. And then Stanley himself in that same scene comes in and says, “I’ve had the dream, why don’t we run, now?” And he says, “No, no, no, let’s stay put”, you know. So that whole scene seems to encapsulate, kind of, what he feels his position is at court and he feels very secure. And the kind of person that he is, which is, well, I haven’t decided yet, but you know, he’s got his reasons for staying. It makes sense in a way because, you know, the first thing that would arouse suspicions if you run off and it’s better to stay put. And besides, I think, he thinks he’s in a really strong position. So that’s his main scene. And then before he dies, he, kind of, sees the light, and that is another revelation as a character where he says, “Oh, God, who are those people, what was I thinking, of course”. This is the culmination, this is the inevitable end; it was all leading to this.
And Tyrrell, he is a quite mysterious character. He says his speech to the audience, I suppose. He is quite, I think, unsentimental about it. He is describing, basically, how the murderers killed the two princes by smothering them with a pillow. And how they’re weeping and feel full of regret and stuff. Because they couldn’t do it, they couldn’t come and tell the King, he’s had to come and tell the King himself. But I don’t sense he’s getting very emotional about it. I might change my mind about that. This is the great thing about rehearsals, I might change my mind and think, “Oh, I’ve misread that.” But at the moment he looks quite cool about the whole thing.
Have you got the boys in yet?
Yeah, we’ve met them, we’ve got four, I don’t think you’re allowed to legally, it’d be slave labour if you, you know, every night, people have got homework to do, school to go to. We’ve got four boys and they’ve been great. We’ve had one session on a Saturday with them and they’ll be coming in again.
Maybe you’ll feel bad, once…
I know! It would be good to put a face to the people I’m talking about killing! It’s always good for the acting.