Shakespeare's Globe

RSS Rehearsal Notes

Danny will be playing Brutus, who conspires against Caesar and murders him.

Transcript of Podcast

Danny will be playing Brutus, who conspires against Caesar and murders him. When Danny came to audition at the Globe, he was asked what part he was most interested in playing - Danny knew immediately that he wanted to play Brutus. One of the things that Danny finds so fascinating about the character is that he is always spoken of as being very noble, but there is obviously also an element to Brutus which motivates him to assassinate Caesar. Many of Brutus’ thought processes or decisions are not played out on stage. Danny finds the things that are not said to be as important—and almost more interesting—as the things that are. Danny finds it useful to explore these moments through improvisation.

Danny is interested in the significance of the name ‘Brutus’, relating it to the word ‘brutish’. Danny believes that, as is indicated by the character's name, there is some level of ‘brutishness’ in Brutus that he fights throughout the play. Danny feels there is a constant battle between Brutus’ noble, intellectual character and his ‘brutish’ character.

The first few weeks of rehearsal have been exhausting for Danny because he has only just finished performing in a production of an opera called The Silver Lake at Wilton's Music Hall. During his initial weeks at the Globe he has finished rehearsals at 6:00 p.m. only to ‘dash’ over to Wilton's Music Hall for an evening performance. Fortunately, though, The Silver Lake has now finished its run and Danny can focus all his energy on Julius Caesar.

Danny feels that Brutus’ character doesn’t really emerge until after he has killed Caesar. Brutus’ feelings, motives, and character are really only displayed as he begins to deal with the repercussions of his actions. For the most part, others speak for him before the assassination. Danny currently views Brutus as a gentle man: a fair, concise, person who doesn’t like to raise his voice. He sees Brutus as the voice of reason in many cases, because he feels Brutus’ motives are very pure.

As part of his work Danny has researched the historical Brutus. Danny has found it most useful to research the relationships between the characters before the beginning of the play. Danny found the relationship between Brutus and Cassius particularly interesting. Through his research he learned that Brutus and Cassius are actually related and that prior to the events which open the play Brutus had been awarded a key position in preference to Cassius (his senior).

One way Danny prepares for a role is to write down all the things that are said about Brutus by other characters in the play. Danny tries to take a very ‘open’ approach to rehearsals and to remain receptive to new ideas - each time he rehearses one of Brutus’ scenes he learns something new. He acknowledges that there is still a long way to go, but he is confident that everything will fall into place before the first night!

Looking forward, Danny feels his biggest challenges are to decide to what extent Brutus was driven by ambition and to explore the differences between Caesar and Brutus. He is also working with the text and the physicality of the character, trying to establish a way for Brutus to move and speak that is different from his own.

Danny has never performed at the Globe before and so far has only had a little time to work in the theatre itself. The work that the company has done on the stage has been in front of tour groups - during rehearsals, Danny likes to take risks and try new things and this can be hard to do in front of a group of people. However, Danny says, it is what being an actor is all about. Danny feels very strongly that there are no wrong answers. For now, he is really looking forward to seeing how audiences will react to his choices when he finally gets to perform for the first time at the Globe.

These comments are the actor’s thoughts and 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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