Shakespeare's Globe

RSS Rehearsal Notes 4

In his fourth blog post Frank discusses rehearsing one of his favourite scenes, the relationship between Sicinius and Brutus and his first costume fitting.

Transcript of Podcast

Rehearsing Act 3 Scene 1

In this scene, I’m kind of the ringmaster – myself and John [who plays Brutus] really keep it moving along, making sure that we’re purporting to give Coriolanus a fair hearing. Coriolanus is going to have to be as modest as he can and all we’ve got to do is drop one little word and the word I drop is ‘traitor’ delivered very calmly. It just makes him explode – so therein lies the manipulation and disingenuousness of it because the tribunes are pretending that we’re trying to have this really fair trial but in actual fact we are goading and provoking Coriolanus and consequently provoking the crowd. That's what's wonderful about the scene – it's a very exciting scene, I love it.

The tribunes

We’re going to have a few individual sessions focussing on Sicinius and Brutus we’re having an hour-long session with Dominic [the director] just talking specifically about that relationship. We need to thrash out the sort of questions that we’re asking about the two characters. What are their differences? What are their motivations, individually and together?

They’re not classic Shakespearean villains. We’ve got to be quite careful about what we’re aiming for because they’re not Iago or Richard III, there’re not villains in that sense. They’re very regular–what makes the play quite sophisticated is that they’re not evil but at the same time they’re very self motivated and egotistical, albeit as voices for the common man. You can smell of them that their evils are very present. We need to get together to find out and define where it happens in the play and show that and make it as dynamic as we can.

Costume fittings

I did I had a fitting after my session with Giles and my costume has got stitches everywhere! You can see the shape of it and you can see the fabric – it looks a bit of a hotchpotch at the moment but I know that they know what they’re doing!


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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