I think the Master’s Garden in Cambridge is one of my favourite venues. The place we are at is so contained and so unlike the other outdoor places we have been.
Transcript of Podcast
I think the Master’s Garden in Cambridge is one of my favourite venues. The place we are at is so contained and so unlike the other outdoor places we have been. It is a walled garden with lots of trees and things and it is really quite perfect. Our run is nearly a week here, or 7 shows over 5 days, so it is nice that we have the time to get to understand the space more and become a bit more relaxed in it.
We always do a sound check before we play each venue. This is where the director or assistant director just stands back where the audience would be and checks how much we need to push our voices. Here, because our stage is surrounded by walls, it is one of our best venues vocally and we find that our voices just bounce back. We are able to relax and play a bit more rather than worrying so much about being audible.
Playing outside means that there are more distractions but sometimes these can work to our advantage. We had a lovely moment here in Cambridge when some cathedral or church bells rang out at the perfect moment in the play. I love those unexpected incidents, those moments that you don’t notice until they’re actually happening.
The audience are really good here. For the first show it felt like being back at the Globe because they were really with it and having a good time. I think we are finding that it makes a difference whether it’s a matinee or an evening performance.
In the daytime the audience here are having their picnics and, whilst they are still taking it all in, you maybe don’t get as much reaction as you do in an evening performance. During my time in Cambridge I’m staying in digs which have been recommended by one of the actors who stayed here last year with their Globe tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It is a lady’s house and she has a room she rents out to actors and other theatre workers. It’s just out of the centre so on the other side of Jesus College. It is a nice walk in through the park and over the river.
We haven’t really had much free time because of the busy show schedule but we did manage a party to acknowledge that we only have 10 shows left! It is the final stretch towards our exciting closing venue in Elsinore.