“It has that freedom element, which Miranda has in her.” Jessie describes her seaweed-like costume and how it influences and enhances her interpretation of the character. She also talks about the technical rehearsal process and aspects of the performance that are still proving to be challenging.
Time: 5 minutes 36 seconds
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Transcript of Podcast
What happens in tech week?
Well, tech week is, I suppose, a chance for you to be in the space, in your costumes, begin to have relationships with the set that has been built for the production, and also just to tighten up the moves that you’ve put in place in the rehearsal room and transfer that into the space. I suppose as well, at the Globe, tech week is crucial because you (for the first time) have the realisation that the audience are so much a part of the story and how you find those moments to connect with them.
And what have been the challenges of putting the production together?
Oh, loads of challenges! I suppose, in tech week for me – because I’ve never worked in the Globe before and it’s my first job – is finding the confidence and boldness in order to really be truthful and really find the moments when you relate to an audience that you relate it in a very focused way. I think the challenge was really just transferring from being in a rehearsal room, where there’s no air, and all of a sudden you’re out in an element. And it’s very exciting, but it is a challenge to make that transition. And, as well, I have to say that the first day I got on stage I cried because I was like, “this is terrifying! What am I doing? And I hope within the next few days divine inspiration falls on top of me because I’m scared.” So, that was quite a challenge to get over for me. I’ve never been in a theatre or in a production, or even just working at the Globe, where you really, really, really feel so hugged by the whole space from the audience to the technical team to the directors to everything else, everything that goes on in the Globe. It just feels really supportive and it’s an incredibly exciting space to work in because you just feel like the audience and everybody are willing for it to be really good, and want to hear the story, which is the most important bit, and want to be involved in the magic of the story unravelling as well. So, it actually, in the end, was the biggest comforter to realise that, for me anyway, that they were so there with you and wanting the jigsaw puzzles to come together. Because very often when you go to the theatre or you work on a piece, you can feel people are going, “come on, show us what you can do as an actress.” But that’s what’s really special at the Globe because it’s about Shakespeare’s stories and not necessarily about who it is who’s playing X, Y, and Z.
What is your costume like? And how, if it has, has it helped your character?
My costume is green. It’s a really beautiful costume, I really love it. It has little pedal pusher pants, which are to replicate like they’ve been made out of fish skin. I really like them, actually. For me, Miranda, even though she’s described throughout the play as a goddess and has this ethereal quality, she’s also been brought up around men for the last twelve years so there’s a tomboy-ish quality to her. So, these trousers really...I suppose it’s that kind of detail which help you subconsciously sink into something that adds another layer to your character. And then my dress is, I suppose, to replicate something like seaweed. And it’s very flow-y and it has that freedom element, which Miranda has in her. It’s beautiful and really quite simple, I think, but very much of what would have been made had she been on the island: out of the little that they had on the island they would have been able to put together. And then the shoes are made out of fish skin.
Actual fish skin?
Actual fish skin. I think mine are mackerel and Roger’s [Allam, playing Prospero] are salmon.
Are there still scenes that are proving difficult to unlock?
I think if the text is good, something should unlock every time you do it. And sometimes I know I hit it and sometimes I know I don’t but that’s the risk that you take going on the stage, really. You always strive to find the reality of the moment and that changes, especially in the Globe, every you do it because you’ve a new audience in and you’ve a different weather or whatever. But there are scenes that I know I haven’t fully found every corner of it yet. But I think that’s kind of exciting as well. That’s why I like what I do. If it were too easy, I wouldn’t do it. And I feel like I’m still learning all the time.
How is it finally seeing the play come together as a whole?
It’s a real privilege to be part of this story. It’s funny because my character doesn’t meet many of the other characters until the last five minutes of the whole play. So, during tech week, to be able to see different parts really explode and you can feel when things are really sizzling together. It’s been so exciting and it’s such a wonderful company and everybody’s doing really beautiful work. And to see, after a six week period, things start to come together, it’s a real privilege to be able to share that and to be part of it and hope to add something to it as well.