Shakespeare's Globe

RSS Rehearsal Notes 1

Norbert is a German actor playing Shylock at the Globe Theatre in London.

Transcript of Podcast

Norbert is a German actor playing Shylock at the Globe Theatre in London. This is important for Norbert as he feels it will enable him to make a personal connection with the character of Shylock – he will know what it is like to be an ‘alien’ in the country in which he lives and works. At the moment he is collecting all the information he can, which he might use and develop for his portrayal of Shylock.

Norbert is concerned that the difficult, or ugly parts of the text are not cut in this production. He feels that it is essential that these moments are explored and confronted.

One of the biggest challenges for Norbert at present is to play a major role in English. He began learning English 1 ½ years ago – which is a relatively short period of time in which to learn a language. At present he is exhausted by the effort of thinking, speaking and interpreting Shakespeare in English.

One of the earliest elements of the play to be developed in rehearsal is the conflict between generations – between Shylock and his daughter Jessica. Norbert is exploring the harshness of this relationship; he feels that Jessica would hate Shylock and that they would show no politeness to one another. Norbert is exploring each scene in rehearsal word by word, trying to find and to play the emotions in each scene. He is anxious not to fix any aspects of his performance too early in the rehearsal process, for Norbert it is important to react to each moment as it develops on the rehearsal room floor. He is concentrating on the key elements of words, situation, space, relationships and emotions – these are the elements which will combine together in his performance and interpretation of the role of Shylock.


These comments are the actor's thoughts or 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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