Shakespeare's Globe

RSS Venue 2: Santa Monica

Laura is in Santa Monica! She talks about their performing space and audience and how she is making the most of her free time in Santa Monica.

Transcript of Podcast

Laura is in Santa Monica! She talks about their performing space and audience and how she is making the most of her free time in Santa Monica. 

What are the venue and the performing space like?

The venue is a really sweet theatre, with just under 500 seats. It’s a new performing arts centre and I think it was actually built for students. It’s not just for plays but for music concerts and ballets, but I don’t think they get much Shakespeare here. We’re playing with the lights up on the audience so that means we can see the first few rows of them. It feels quite intimate because the auditorium isn’t too large and it’s actually a lot easier than Santa Barbara because there is more room back stage for changes.

What is it like doing Shakespeare in that particular venue and for that particular audience?

Obviously it’s not the same as doing it at the Globe because it’s not outdoors and you don’t have the natural change in the time of day, so you don’t actually feel it tipping into evening as the show goes on, and you can’t interact as easily with the audience. But it has fit into the space very well; I think it’s the sort of play that can adapt to any space. The audiences have clearly enjoyed it we feel by the end because we’ve had lots of standing ovations. We played to a matinee of students on Wednesday and they absolutely went wild for it and it was a really lovely feeling to play to such a focal audience. I think though that some of them might have been hoping we would be performing in full Elizabethan dress and so they are surprised when we turn up in Turkish clothing. But once they tune into it and they realise what it’s about then they really just sit back and enjoy it and allow us to entertain them. I think it’s especially nice when you have an audience who are a mix of ages because then you have the younger people who would enjoy the slapstick more and the older people who would enjoy the storytelling more – the jokes within the text – so you can tell what kind of audience you have by their reactions.

How are you finding the travelling process?

After getting over the jetlag when we first arrived – it was difficult to work out how long jetlag lasts and what was jetlag and what was just being tired from rehearsing. But it was fine and we’ve been really well treated. It was only an hour and a half drive from Santa Barbara to Santa Monica so once we were here - and we’ve got 2 weeks here - we could settle in and make it our home. We can walk to the theatre here which is really handy but, for example if we’ve been going out on trips, people don’t take public transport. But, of course, as Brits we’re used to taking buses everywhere, so if you ask someone in Hollywood which bus to take they look at you as if you are mad!

Have you had much free time to explore Santa Monica?

The schedule is such that for half the week it feels like quite a light schedule but then Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday it’s none stop. But because the weather has been lovely we’ve been really taking advantage of the swimming pool, the hot tub, the beach. We’ve been playing beach volleyball and some people have been to Malibu and Venice Beach – I’m going to Venice Beach on Thursday; you can hire a bike. There is also a lovely shopping precinct not far from here and nice restaurants and things like that. So I’ve just been really treating it as a holiday when we haven’t been on stage. We have been invited by the theatre manager tomorrow to Thanks Giving at his house and we were at Jean Kelly’s widow’s house last night; she was showing us all his memorabilia, quite amazing!

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