"You do change the way you play certain parts...you don’t want to make too many decisions that would throw anyone off. But at the same time you want to keep it fresh. So it’s finding what you can do within reason, and different parts allow different amounts of freedom I think..."
As Much Ado enters its last week of performances, Jo takes us through how the cast has kept the show fresh over the last three months.
Time: 4 minutes 36 seconds
Download (4.2MB, mp3 format)
To download, right click on the link and select 'Save link as'.
Transcript of Podcast
Rona Kelly: Cool, we can get started on one of the last interviews for the Summer of Love. And today we are joined by Jo, who has been playing Juana in Much Ado [About Nothing].
Jo Dockery: I have.
RK: How are you feeling? This is one of our last performances.
JD: Yes, we’ve got three shows left now and it’s just sort of suddenly drawn to an end quite quickly. It’s weird because you start to think, ‘Oh, this is nearly the last time I’ll say this and that’.
RK: And you had the Midnight Matinee as well, how did that go?
JD: Yes, it was just a different feel, the show, entirely. You can’t quite get your head round that you are getting ready to do another show at that time! It’s kind of got a festival feel to it a little bit, you can tell people kind of...I don’t know, there’s like a different vibe in the audience definitely. It was really a different experience.
RK: Before this did you do ever do any outdoor theatre?
JD: Once I did, I did a production of the Scottish Play in Stafford. They do a summer show outdoors, they have a theatre as well, indoor theatre. But I played one of the Witches in that, but the audience was uncovered...sorry, we were uncovered as well as the audience. So yes, we had a few rainy shows there that we traipsed on through!
RK: That’s one of the lovely challenges, we will call them challenges but also the special things about the Globe! What have you learned when working in this space for the last couple of months?
JD: Oh God, loads! When I think how challenging I found the space at the beginning of the run, compared to now...I find it more exciting than I do challenging every time I go out there. And, we were saying the other day, it feels very homely and cosy now, whereas I think...I don’t know, you sort of had to hit it head on, which you do to an extent. You have to have a certain amount of energy for it. But I definitely feel more comfortable, if I am allowed to say that! You should never feel comfortable should you! But yes, definitely more comfortable.
RK: You are now going to go on for that jig and just mind blank!
RK: And we have actually had some questions in from your adoptees across Twitter.
JD: Oh, lovely!
RK: Jamie has asked, ‘Do you ever change the way you play certain parts of the show, maybe based on audience members?’
JD: Good question. Yes, you do. I mean you have a certain...I always have to check myself sometimes that I am not falling into too much, because you can get used to doing it a certain way. Especially when at certain times you are restricted to staging, or if what you do affects another actor and it’s a chain of events, you don’t want to make too many decisions that would throw anyone off. But at the same time you want to keep it fresh. So it’s finding what you can do within reason, and different parts allow different amounts of freedom I think. So it depends on how much time you have on stage by yourself or just with one other actor, or are they group scenes where it really is important that you stay to a rhythm.
So I have found sometimes I am...it depends on how brave you are on the day! Some days I find myself going, ‘Oh, I did that a bit differently’, or I try a new angle or your mood is slightly different, so you come at it a different way. I find I do that every now and then. So yes, it’s different every day though and everyone is different every day in the show, I would say.
RK: And actually at the moment, we are sat in the King Lear dressing room, between your bits on stage where you get a nice little break. Jamie has also asked, ‘What do the actors do before the show and after it?’
JD: Okay. So before the show most people do some sort of warm up. Everyone has got their own sort of process really. Some people’s are very short and sweet and they know exactly what they want to do, and other people like to spend quite a long time on stage. Or just to see each other really. I like to see everyone before the show and check in with everyone.
We have a jig call so we practice the jig, which is nice. That kind of brings the company together before you start, and I really like that. So, that’s what we do before. And afterwards? Sometimes I dash off home to our baby and relieve whoever has been looking after her! Or we like to go to the bar, go to The Swan, and have a little debrief, chill out, that’s nice as well. Yes, we have had lots of little after show events that have been great. [There was] a Mexican night the other night that I couldn’t make unfortunately, but it sounded like it was great.
Thanks to Jane for the transcription of this interview.