"It's quite a physical show and we've got some skills to learn. I and quite a few of the other cast members have had to learn stilt walking. And also guns, there's a lot of gun action in the show. So we're learning spinning and shooting and just generally trying to look like we actually own a gun, that's the first thing!"
Jo Dockery takes us through preparing for her first production at Shakespeare's Globe, including approaching the space, the text and the skills required.
Time: 4 minutes 5 seconds
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Transcript of Podcast
Rona Kelly: Welcome back to Adopt An Actor. Today we are joined by Jo Dockery, who is playing Juana…
Jo Dockery: Juana, I think! I didn’t know how to say it on the first day of rehearsals, which was embarrassing!
RK: And she has just snuck away from rehearsals to give us few insights into what's been going on so far. This is your first time actually at the Globe.
JD: It is, yes.
RK: How do you feel about entering that space: 'the wooden O'? What do you think it will present you with?
JD: Well, first of all the open air-ness of it (for me more than the size) is the thing. So I went in there the other day for the first time, really looking at it as a space that I'm going to perform in. There's a lot to contend with there, there's a lot to distract the eye for the audience, especially if that's the first time that they've been in to the Globe. So you've got to come up against all that as well.
RK: What kind of distractions do you think you'll be contending with?
JD: I mean just people looking around in awe of what they're standing in, [when] you're acting your socks off. And maybe looking at the other members of the audience...
RK: To see what they're thinking.
JD: Yes, which you do. I do it, myself! You kind of can't help yourself. So you've got that, you've got noise. There's lots of things there!
RK: Let's talk a bit about how rehearsals have been going so far. So we're now in what...Week 3 or 4?
JD: Week 3, end of Week 3.
RK: So what have you been up to?
JD: So it's quite a physical show and then we've also got some skills. I have to and quite a few of the other cast members have had to learn stilt walking. So we're currently doing that! And also guns, there's a lot of gun action in the show. So we're learning spinning and shooting and just generally trying to look like we actually own a gun, that's the first thing!
JD: So there's a lot to practise, even when you're not called for your scenes. You're always like, 'Right, can I grab a gun? Can I grab the stilts and keep practising?'
RK: And then you get sessions with people like Glynn and Giles who does the text itself. What do you do in those sessions?
JD: So with Giles, he's brilliant! I had an hour with him yesterday. You just go through each of your scenes and you read it through and you can bring up any sort of questions that you've got about the text, any things you don't understand or maybe you think doesn't make sense. And he'll go through what's in the original folio to try and make sense of things. Or if you're reading something a certain way and he thinks it should be read in another way, you'll have a little discussion about that. He's brilliant, he always comes up with things that you've never thought of. So I found that really useful, actually.
RK: Are there any things so far which you can reveal, maybe moments where you've been like 'Oh', to do with the text?
JD: Just like emphasis on [certain words]. So for example, small words that you would look at a line and think the hook words in that line were 'life' and 'death', which they could very well be. But then he would say, ''Any' is very important in that line, because you're saying 'anything'. It's big, that word's big, and you skipped over that'. So it's just things like that.
RK: Okay, like going down word by word essentially.
JD: Yes, exactly. And you can play around with things, obviously. But it just gives you other options as well, so you're not kind of stuck in a rhythm of something. He gives you permission [to play] as well. I had a word...I mean it might come back again, I don't know if Matthew [Dunster, Director] knows about this yet! 'Farther' instead of 'further', and okay you do see that a lot in Shakespeare. But I was like...I don't know, I want to say 'further'. And [Giles] was like, 'That's fine, that's fine. You can say that'. And you kind of feel like you're cheating if you don't! But [they're] used, 'farther' and 'further' are used both in different versions, so I think I'm going to see if I can stick with that.
RK: Fingers crossed!