This is Philippa's first blog post. This week she discusses the 'homework' she's had to do to prepare for her role, her previous experience playing at the Globe, and the work the company has done in rehearsals this week.
Transcript of Podcast
So far, I’m having a great time working on A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Each member of the Company is very nice and very silly, which is fun for all of us!
The whole company was given homework to do before we started rehearsals. I had to make 3 lists. In the first, I wrote down all the lines where Hermia tells someone about herself, in the second, I wrote down all the lines when she talks about another character in the play, and in the third, I wrote down all the lines where other characters talk about her. Since we started rehearsals, we have taken it in turn to read our lists to each other and then explore the physicality of each character in turn as a company, with the actor playing that character watching the others from the sides. This has been really helpful, as I am able to explore for myself every character in the play and in turn share what I discover with the whole company, although I am nervous about what it will be like when it is my turn.
Still, I am really looking forward to exploring the character of Hermia, as I have never played someone so deeply in love before. I am usually asked to play cheeky, quirky people, and although I suppose Hermia fits that description, she’s far more passionate than the other characters I’ve played; she is totally preoccupied with her love for Lysander. I’m a bit scared of the role, but at the same time it’s going to be a wonderful challenge for me.
Previous experience at the Globe
This is the second time I’ve played the Globe. The first was in 1999, when I appeared in The Comedy of Errors and Augustine’s Oak. Peter Oswald, whose new play, The Golden Ass, is being performed this year, also wrote Augustine’s Oak, and I’m really looking forward to working with him again. Peter is often in rehearsals for his plays, and he sometimes changes the script as we go along. In the end, parts of Augustine’s Oak were very different to what he originally wrote – he cut lines, scenes, and even characters as his ideas changed through working with the actors. I love working with Peter as his verse writing is so different to Shakespeare, and it will be very exciting when the Red and White Companies come together to perform The Golden Ass later in the season!
At the moment, we are doing lots of physical work, (including dance sessions), with Glynn [MacDonald, Master of Movement] and Mike [Alfreds, Master of Play] as we work on A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I especially like the exercise Glynn uses to finish her workshops on the stage where we explore the relations between the actor and the audience; for me, that’s what the Globe is all about.
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.