"It’s always a bit sad, because you’ve put so much into playing the character that it’s sometimes hard to let go of. But I think it’s the whole experience actually that I’ll find hard letting go of. It’s being on that stage and looking out, and knowing that there’s nothing like the Globe and its audiences..."
With three performances to go, Annette thinks about what she's leaving behind and what she'll take with her from this experience.
Time: 5 minutes 30 seconds
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Transcript of Podcast
Rona Kelly: Welcome to the very last instalment of our podcast series for Twelfth Night. Today we’re joined by Annette, who has been playing Olivia throughout the run. We’ve got the Diet Coke on hand, we’ve got lots of caffeine ready to go, as we enter the last three performances!
Annette McLaughlin: Yes, it’s very sad. It’s sort of crept up on us I think, because you have this wonderful thing of rep[ertory] here, so you’re used to having a few days off and then coming back. It sort of feels like another one of those, it doesn’t quite feel real. But I was thinking today as I walked in, how much I’m going to miss this place and everybody, and being on that glorious stage. It’s going to be sad. Yes, it will be.
RK: Do you know how many performances you’ve done on the stage so far?
AM: No – do you?
RK: No I was [assuming you would know!] Fifty, you must have done, including matinees.
AM: Yes, that sounds about right. But the actual time on stage has not been, you know, a huge long contract, and because of having time off and not doing a full week it doesn’t feel like that actually.
RK: But you’re also doing another show kind of with this one. Not in rep, but outside of this one.
AM: I did double up. I was saying to you that I did Billy Elliot on tour for over a year, and for the final three weeks of Billy Elliot I was rehearsing this. So I doubled up. So I feel, coming to the end of this week, is the end of quite a long journey of work for me, and I start work on my next job on Monday...
RK: Oh, wow!
AM: ...which is great and I am very thankful for it. But thankfully it’s just a workshop for a week on the job I’m going to do, and then I have a bit of time off which is good. So I can sort of mourn leaving the Globe.
RK: What’s it like leaving a part and leaving that bit of you behind essentially, when you come to the end of a production?
AM: It’s always a bit sad, because you’ve put so much into playing the character and finding everything, that it’s sometimes hard to let go of (sometimes easier, depending on the job). But I think it’s the whole experience actually that I’ll find hard letting go of. It’s being on that stage and looking out, and knowing that there’s nothing like the Globe and there’s nothing like the Globe audiences. The experience that I’ve had has been a joyous one. All good things must come to an end, but that’s the thing that I will miss.
RK: Will you still have certain lines, do you think, rattling around in your head for the foreseeable?
AM: Well I hope so. Especially with Shakespeare I hope so.
RK: Because of the rhythm I guess you just might find yourself.
AM: And because it’s so glorious. And you know, the first Shakespeare I did was at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and I played Helena, and I do still remember my lines from that. Not all of them, but a lot of them. So I hope I do, because there’re some glorious lines in this show, so I hope they stay with me. I think, for me, it’s that first soliloquy and her thought changes are so quick, going from one thing to the other, and the enjoyment of sharing all of that with the audience is I think the big thing that will stay with me. But I don’t think it is any specific line, I don’t think, but it’s that feeling of oneness and storytelling with the audience that I think is the thing that I’ll really remember.
RK: And, as we've said, you’ve done probably about fifty performances so far. How have you managed to keep it fresh with the audiences, and for you guys as actors too? Because I imagine it’s a bit challenging.
AM: It is, yes. And there’s certain things like the weather, the weather helps. If it’s hot, you know you have to get a move on and you have to pick up your thoughts, because people are really hot and they’re standing. And people have got the sun shining in their face up in the seats, and so you can’t be doing any sort of self-indulgent acting! And the same with the rain, people are getting rained on! But I think, it’s just this brilliant play is so full of so many changes, and that theatre teaches you to be so specific with your thoughts and where you place your thoughts.
Also, I mean it’s been really helpful watching other productions while I’ve been working here, because you realise what you see and I think you have to be really truthful. The audience can see you lie, I think. That is how I’ve tried to keep it fresh, I’ve tried to keep the thoughts fresh and I try to say things like I’m saying them for the first time. It’s always, you know, it’s always something...that’s what’s so great with theatre, you can work on things each night. And one night you’ll get something right and the other thing will go, and then the next night you’ll get that right and something else will go. It’s a work in progress. So it’s been really helpful watching other shows and learning from them as well.
RK: One of my favourite bits which always seems so fresh to me is, ‘What is your parentage?’, when you’ve just spoken to Viola and you’re like, ‘Oh my God!’ That always gets such a great response from the audience.
AM: Oh good. Well, she’s just glorious to work with, AJ [Uwajeh], she really is. She gives so much and she’s beautiful as well, so it’s very easy to sort of fall in love with her. I love doing that first scene with her, she’s completely in it. So all of that next bit that I do comes easily, because she’s given me so much in the scene to then work with in the soliloquy.
Thanks to Janet for the transcription of this interview.