This is Hugh's blog entry for the 2006 production of Titus Andronicus, where he talks about becoming an actor, rehearsing Titus, playing the part of Young Lucius, and his career plans, amongst other things.
Transcript of Podcast
Becoming an actor
I've always loved acting and drama but I haven’t been acting for very long. I've only been in three professional productions. The first production I was in was Billy Elliot: The Musical. After that I was in Pillars of the Community at the National Theatre and now I’m here at the Globe. I've only just got an agent so I'm actually quite new to this whole business.
First day of rehearsals
The first day was fun! Before we started, I was really nervous about meeting everyone. We got these packs with the cast list and information about the Globe so I read through that. I was quite lucky because there's an actress in this play called Geraldine who was at the National Theatre in the last play I was in - she was my mum in that play - so it's really lucky that I'm here with her again and it was really nice to have her there to chat to. We played different games and learnt quite a lot about the play. Overall it was a really nice day.
The next day consisted of learning much more about the play. We had a lecture about Rome which was very interesting and we got to ask questions which really helped me in getting to know the play. We spent time together as a company so I got to know more about the cast. After that I stopped for about a week and a half which was quite a gap but then I came back and carried on through, and here I am now!
Playing the part of Young Lucius
I have quite a few scenes. I like my part. It's not a main role or anything but it's a nice part and I have quite a bit to say. I’ve never done Shakespeare properly before, even at school. I mean, I’ve studied Shakespeare but I haven’t ever really acted it, so this is a new experience. It's fun. I say a few asides as well, which I’ve never done before, and speaking directly to the audience is great. I don’t have a huge amount compared with everyone else but I like my part.
Learning my lines
I didn’t really have to work very hard to learn my lines. I kind of just learnt them in rehearsals and going through the script. I did have to go through my lines a bit at home but mainly I memorised them through rehearsals.
Rehearsals can vary quite a bit. Often, we go through each scene, learning more about lines and what they mean because Shakespeare is quite hard to understand, especially for someone like me. Then we just act things out and practice using props and stuff like that.
During the technical rehearsals it feels completely different because the time schedule is tight. There is a change in atmosphere because everyone's gets quite nervous - well, I know I do! I really like the technical rehearsals because you are on stage and in costume and it's good to see what it's actually going to be like.
Preparing for a performance
I don’t have any rituals or anything before I go on stage because I’m not really an experienced actor - I wouldn’t know what to do! I just try to relax a bit, maybe go through my lines, maybe just sit down and not even think about it and just step back from what's happening. Generally, I just hope it all goes well and that enjoy it above all! For me, it's a real experience so I have to remind myself to have fun.
Fitting everything in
I haven’t been missing too much school. The technical rehearsals have been the longest in terms of missing school. I usually have to rehearse or perform in the evenings, and the Globe has managed it so I don’t have to miss that much school. My school is in London - Saint Cecilia's in Wandsworth - and will let me miss a bit so it's worked out well. I have finished my SATs exams and I manage to get my homework done so I think it's OK!
I definitely want to take up acting as a career when I’m older and then I really want to direct, but maybe I’ll begin with acting. I’ve always tried to put on plays, although sometimes they’re not very good! I find it a lot of fun to go through a play. I find it really interesting to learn the background and stuff like that so hopefully I’ll direct when I’m older. We’ll see.
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.