“And it’s a relationship that, for my money could have worked if Petruchio had enough faculties to engage with her in a different level. Because all that he understands is patriarchy, is dominance, and is oppression, she is destroyed by it.”
As rehearsals draw to a close, Leah discusses putting the play together like a jigsaw, the dark side of Petruchio, and the best moments of rehearsal.
Time: 4 minutes 12 seconds
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Transcript of Podcast
So what have you been doing in rehearsals since we last spoke?
So really we’ve been sort of starting to run it, which is a really exciting bit of rehearsals, but often can be quite scary. It is like putting a puzzle together, you do a lot of detailed and intricate work and then of course you try and do it all at once, and you forget half of it and it feels horrible and you sort of wonder what you’ve been doing for the past four weeks! That’s my experience anyway. But no we’ve started to put it together and I think that’s really useful for a character like Petruchio who has such a huge journey in the play, and so much happens to him and he does so much to other people that it’s been really useful for me to work out ‘Ok so if this happens in this scene I need to start this scene at this level otherwise nothing else makes sense.’ So it’s just working out how to do the whole thing. And I think we’ve been realising it zips along quite nicely. We’ve cut it quite a lot, and I think it’s lots of- loads of fun to watch, hopefully.
How important would you say music is to your production?
It is very important in this production, because it is very self-consciously about performance. It’s a play within a play and we are players travelling around doing this play. So we’ve got loads of music, to frame the event itself, but also sort of throughout which is brilliant. I am less involved in the music because I am less musically skilled than some of my colleagues, but we’ve got some amazing music and some brilliant musical moments. And I sing, and you’ll see me doing some great stuff with a tambourine.
How are the jig rehearsals going?
I love it. I love it. It’s my favourite part of this job! Yeah I absolutely love the jig, it’s brilliant. It’s going to be sometimes odd I think going into it. Obviously we will work out how this happens, but I think the end of the play is very sad because Katherine is broken in a sense. And it’s a relationship that, for my money could have worked if Petruchio had enough faculties to engage with her in a different level. Because all that he understands is patriarchy, is dominance, and is oppression, she is destroyed by it. Or her spirit is destroyed. And I think that happens all over the world still today, and so it’s – but also it’s going to be quite strange to work out how to do from that into ‘Wooo! It’s just a play and here’s a jig.’ But that’s the joy of doing a jig and that’s a great thing to do.
Have you done many jigs before or is this your first?
This is my first jig. I have danced before but this is my first official jig. But our jig is quite a fun jig; it’s quite an irreverent jig. Our version of this play isn’t set in any particular time so the jig is similarly eclectic in its styles of movement.
How have your initial impressions of your character changed or have they been confirmed since the start of the rehearsal process?
I think he’s much more complex than I ever thought. I knew he was complex. I also think there’s a very dark side to him and he acknowledges at various points in the play that he has a dark side and that he lives with darkness and fights darkness. And so I think I just realised that there is an awful lot to him. More than just a sort of funny, shouty lunatic.
And what would you say you’ve particularly enjoyed about the last week or two in rehearsals?
For me the best moments of rehearsals are always where you make a break through, and where you’re doing something, it doesn’t quite feel right, or you know that it’s just not sort of there. And then when it comes and when you work it out, those are the best moments of rehearsal. Discovery.