Shakespeare's Globe

RSS Production Notes 2

At this point, just over half way through the run of the play. The Merchant of Venice was given a three-week break from performance.

Transcript of Podcast

At this point, just over half way through the run of the play. The Merchant of Venice was given a three-week break from performance. This was to give the actors in the White Company the opportunity to rehearse full time for their second play of the season, The Honest Whore and to open the production with a week of performances before the play went into repertory with The Merchant of Venice. Lilo plays the title role in The Honest Whore, and this means she has been very busy with rehearsal, technical rehearsals and previews.

The Honest Whore has a relatively contemporary setting and uses quite an elaborate set in comparison to other productions at the Globe. Lilo has found it quite strange to work with this type of set on the Globe stage, but has become accustomed to the way it affects her use of space. The opening of any new show is a challenging time for an actor, so Lilo is pleased to be performing The Merchant of Venice again as it is already established in performance.

As the company had not performed The Merchant of Venice for some while, they were called to rehearsal before the show for a line run of the play (where the actors just say their lines, without movement). This helped all of the actors to think about their characters as well as the words and rhythms of the play.

Lilo has felt much freer in her role as Jessica since her work on The Honest Whore. In this play, Lilo's character has an emotional and traumatic time, and is therefore exhausting for her to perform. Consequently, it is a real pleasure for her to come back to The Merchant of Venice. She is now much more confident in the role of Jessica and more willing to experiment, taking her interpretation of the role to extremes. For Lilo, it is like coming to the play again for the first time. She has also noticed that her delivery of her lines has become faster.

Since taking a break from The Merchant of Venice, Lilo has found that she is able to take more time to relate to the audience as Jessica and to express her joy at her new life. She has also been more able to express to the audience the inner conflict she feels as a result of her elopement.

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.

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