This is Liam's final blog post. This week he discusses the forthcoming re-rehearsals, how he feels about reviews and reflects on both the production and the experience of performing at the Globe.
Transcript of Podcast
We have not done the show in about four days. For three of those days we didn’t have to be at the Globe, which felt very strange. After tonight we will have over a week off. Working at the Globe is like this because it is a ‘repertory theatre’ (a theatre where a number of different plays are all running at the same time). There are days when you work continuously and days when you do not have to work at all.
The more we perform the play, the more confidence it gains, and the more relaxed we grow during it. We are about to start our ‘re-rehearsal’ process, which is something that all companies do at the Globe. The Master of Play returns and we have rehearsals every day for two weeks. I met with Tim [Carroll, Master of Play] yesterday – he is meeting with everyone from the cast to discuss concerns. I only have a few minor quibbles with certain group moments, like parts of the banquet scene.
During the re-rehearsal period we do not spend much time actually rehearsing on stage, which can be limiting. However, as we have performed the show so many times now, it will be easier to imagine the stage while we are in the rehearsal room.
One of the things we are going to experiment with is the idea of Malcolm's army entering through the yard when they come to attack Macbeth's castle. Mark Springer, who plays Young Siward in Act V, tried entering through the yard when we performed the ‘Storytelling Macbeth’ for school groups, and it was very successful. I think the audience like it when actors do this. They certainly like it when Jasper Britton [Macbeth] goes into the yard during the banquet scene when he sees Banquo's ghost for the second time. At the moment, this is the only time when an actor goes into the yard during the show.
I have not read many reviews and I try not to let them affect my performance. However, if a reviewer offered me an amazing insight that I’d never thought of before, and that I really agreed with, then I might take the comment ‘on-board’ (in the same way I might do if a friend or a colleague said something that struck me as particularly insightful). I wouldn’t ignore something useful just because a journalist said it. It is important to develop a neutral perspective towards the reviews. If you rejoice in the good reviews, then you may feel bad about the bad reviews. No actor can go through life without getting a bad review.
The production and the Globe theatre
Tim has never stopped me from trying anything new during a performance, so when I’m out on stage saying my lines, I feel as though I’m telling the story. I think that there are moments of genius in this production, for example, the intersplicing of the England scene with the Apparitions scene is just brilliant, and I like the Witches and the music enormously.
What I enjoy the most is the experience of playing in the extraordinary space that is the Globe theatre. There are things that you discover about communicating with the audience when playing in that space, and this will be fascinating to take back to a proscenium arch theatre.
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 change frequently as the rehearsal and performance process progresses.