Shakespeare's Globe

RSS Rehearsal Notes 3

In his third blog post, Jasper discusses incorporating dance into the production, his further thoughts on his character and the creative decisions made for this production.

Transcript of Podcast

Dance and movement

We have been having movement and dancing sessions with Sian [Williams, Master of Choreography]. We are currently thinking about how to incorporate dance into the play. What kind of specific movements should Macbeth have? We are trying to progress from simply thinking about ideas to putting then into action. We worked through ‘big’ movements, stretching in all directions and then closing our bodies in completely. There will be a lot of dancing in the scenes with the witches.


Another thing that I have been thinking about is keeping the equivocating, which happens at the beginning of the play, alive until the end. This will keep up the tension. However, there must be other dimensions to Macbeth's character. If he simply turns into an evil psycho, there is no point showing the last two parts of the play.

I feel as though I have learnt a lot about who Macbeth is. It is odd because more lines are suddenly ‘sticking’ in my head then they were before. This is very reassuring. I am trying to solve the ‘ping pong ball’ of ideas in my head, and I feel as if I know where I am now heading with my work. I have gone away from everyone's idea of Macbeth being a great warrior. If I can now work true to the ideas that I have, I think that my character will be more convincing. My work in rehearsals has led me to believe that Macbeth does everything out of love for Lady Macbeth. Usually, in productions Macbeth is portrayed as a tough, invulnerable guy, whose encounter with the witches awakens his twisted ambitions and he begins to think ‘I want to be king’. He is not really driven by Lady Macbeth because the ambition has already developed within him. Our production does not play it in such a way.

The production

This week is the final week before technical rehearsals begin. People may be surprised by this production and it may make them think ‘what is going on here?’, because it is not ‘traditionally’ Shakespearean. I think that the audience will adore the witches, the style and the jazzy saxophone music. I also think that the audience will love Lady Macbeth, as she is such an interesting character to play. I think that she is such a force at the beginning of the play. I very much enjoying work with Eve [Best, Lady Macbeth] because we are on the same wavelength.

The staging of the play will be very interesting. We have a large table, which is suspended by four great big steel wires. The wires are attached to four motors and a computer drives everything. The computer will be programmed to make the mechanism do what we want it to. It can move up all the way to the ceiling and right down to the floor, or any other strange things we would like it to do. I think that it is fabulous and it will be a great deal of fun. This afternoon we will work with it for the first time.

Tim Carroll [Master of Play] is absolutely brilliant. I have never known a director to enjoy himself so much, be so relaxed, and imbue everyone else with a sense of relaxation and to come up with such results. He is taking some great risks with this production.

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 may change frequently as the rehearsal process progresses.

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