Shakespeare's Globe

RSS Rehearsal 2

Bill talks about the importance of a warm up at the start of rehearsals and how he has tried to anticipate a hectic schedule by learning his lines in advance.

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Time: 3 minutes, 27 seconds

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Can you briefly talk through a typical day’s rehearsal?

Ok, well rehearsals start at 10am so we all mull around, drinking coffee, eating breakfast, sort of catching up on the events from the night before really, and then we crack on. This Monday, yesterday morning, was lovely because we had Sian Williams in who is the choreographer. So once we had our coffees she did a bit of a warm up with us, just to warm our bodies up, which I find really useful in this because what I am doing is actually proving to be quite physical so it’s good to help warm the body up a little bit before. So we did a little warm up and then went through the jig. Because the jig is obviously an important part of the show right at the end and is often left until the last minute, but fortunately with this show we have been working on it on and off since the very beginning. So we did that and I like to do that right in the morning just to warm you up and reacquaint yourself with all the moves and stuff. And then we crack on with the scenes and we worked from 11 to 1 yesterday on scene work, working through Act 2, and then in the afternoon we did a run. So it’s very intensive and we work through until 6 every evening, with an hour off for lunch. And tonight we are going to be finishing at 9pm so there will be an evening call as well. So yes, it’s kind of full on but good fun as well.

How does the rehearsal process differ for this show compared to other work you have done at the Globe?

The show has been done in some form or other twice before so obviously Rebecca the director knows the play very well and this production very well. There are 8 actors in it, 4 of whom have been in one or other of the productions, or both productions, before; so half the company really know the play well which is good. Obviously 4 new actors are having to fit in, but what’s been great about this process is that we’ve been allowed to bring our own stuff to the show and so everyone is saying it feels very different to the last time; which I hope is a good thing, or at least being different is fresh. But obviously, you know, with a show starting from fresh you’d have maybe 4 or 5 weeks, sometimes 6 weeks, if you’re at the RSC or The National you might have 9 weeks, but here we’ve just got 3; so it’s been very quick. So we have had to jump through hoops to get where we are now, so it’s been quite intense.

Have you done any specific text or voice work for your character?

I knew I was playing this part quite a few months ago, so when I finished my last job I had about 3 weeks free so I started learning my lines then, which I’m really pleased I did because it’s quite a lot playing 2 parts. So I did quite a lot of work learning lines and stuff before. I mean the other day – well Giles has been great coming in and giving us notes on the verse which is really helpful. I’ve also worked with Martin, the voice tutor, who I asked to go through a couple of speeches. So he really helped with that, with breathing, knowing where to breath and stuff like that which was really helpful. I mean the great thing about this intensive rehearsal is that you do try and use every minute of the day. So if you’ve got 10 minutes off you try and fill it with going to see somebody about this or that.

Have you done any specific movement work for your character?

The jig and there are some other choreographed moments like the carnival; so there are quite a few movement bits. But I think now that I am more secure in my lines it’s something that now I start thinking about more; like the specifics of the way these two people move is useful and I will keep doing that. I would say that the Antiphlous of Ephesus is very held, is a very proud man and so I am trying to work on something that is quite stiff and upright, whereas Antipholus of Syracuse is a bit more laid back and a bit more free and easy with his physicality; so hopefully that comes across.

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