Shakespeare's Globe

RSS Rehearsal 1

“Some things just die when you do them, and you have to give it a week before you go ‘Alright I give in, it’s a terrible gag!”
Pearce talks about how speaking in an appropriate dialect helps him understand the text, his two left feet, and the secret to comedy in his second interview for A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

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Time: 5 minutes 13 seconds

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Transcript of Podcast

Phil Brooks:

So what have you been doing in rehearsals so far?

Pearce Quigley:

After we did the table work we’ve been doing scene-by-scene, getting up and going through the scenes. We’ve been though once and now we’re going back again. We’re supposed to be off the book by now which I’m, kind of, not really. It’s one of those: you thought you learnt it, then you get up and do it and you don’t know a syllable of it.    

PB:

Eventually it’ll all click…

PQ:

 I hope so! It needs to!

PB:

What text work have you been doing so far for your character?

PQ:

We’re doing a Lancashire type accent that all the mechanicals are doing. That gives it a certain kind of flavour we’re all trying to achieve. I suppose there are bits in it that when we went through it and read it, to try and work out what we’re saying, that I still wasn’t sure about what I was saying or supposed to be saying, what it was meant to mean. And doing it and saying it seems to make more sense saying it out loud, and saying it this particular accent or dialect it seems to make sense even though I’m still not a hundred percent certain what I’m saying some times. But it sounds like it makes sense. So I don’t know whether or not that’s sufficient. I mean, I’m sure there are times when you say things and people get it even though you might not necessarily know exactly what you’re talking about. I suspect that’s true.

PB:

Have you done much specific character work? You’ve mentioned accents, but what about movement?

PQ:

There’s been loads of movement this week, because we all clog, so there’s been lots of working out entrances and exits and little moments within it. Also, there’s been singing and dancing and all sorts going on this week. It has been a bit hectic, we’ve only got two weeks left, so it’s always like that at this point. Oh, and dancing as well, I can’t dance, I’ve got two left feet.  So I’m having to stand in the middle of a stage doing a dance with everyone else who are amazing round you, and you stick out like a sore thumb desperately trying to follow the person in front of you, who if they get it wrong all [you’re] over the place. . .

PB:

Is that all part of the jig rehearsals?

PQ:

Yeah, it’s not a jig though, it part of the . . . at the end of the play they talk about Bergamask. There’s loads of pieces of it this week, there’s been a bit of Tai Chi type stuff and I was like ‘oh, I didn’t know about this. And this was stuff that happened in the first week as well I think.

PB:

Waiting for it all to come together?

PQ:

Yeah! It’ll be a long wait I think, the way it feels at the moment. But no, it’ll be fine.

PB:

What relationships in the play are important to your character?

PB:

The only ones we’ve looked at so far are the mechanicals scenes, so that relationship with Bottom and Peter Quince is very important and is developing as we go. And I haven’t really rehearsed any of the stuff with Titania yet, so that’s all to be found this afternoon. We start on that, I think. So that’ll be interesting. And we’ve got the mask for the donkey’s head as well, it looks incredible.

PB:

What scenes or moments have you found particularly significant in terms of interpreting the character so far?

PQ:

I think I’m slowly getting a better idea of it but there’s so many different ways you could perform it, and I suppose now I’ve taken choices, consciously or subconsciously I have no idea really. But whatever they are, and the accent again I think leads you down a definite path. You do things in rehearsals and people laugh, then you do them again and people laugh a little less, and then you do them again and the only thing you can hear is dogs barking in the distance, tumbleweed, and church bells ringing. So you’ve just got to trust that when you do this you’re doing it before people who have never seen it before, and so hopefully you’ll get the reaction you got first time you did it, but you don’t know, you never know, some things just die out when you do them. And you have to do them for about a week before you go , ‘alright, I give in, it’s a terrible gag, that was a terrible idea’. And sometimes you’ve just got to pursue it, you know. It’s not just you, sometimes, it’s a collaboration’. Anyway, comedy – who knows the secret of comedy!? My daughter, she knows. She’s only eight, and she knows! 

PB:

And finally, what have been the highs and lows of the first few weeks of rehearsals?

PQ:

It’s a high to be able to get up in the morning and know you’re coming in to The Globe, it’s fantastic, what a treat. To enjoy your job in the first place, and then to do a job particularly here, on the South Bank, in the sunshine, which it has been a little bit this week. Lovely people and a great place. And it’s so exciting here at the moment with what’s going on and the new theatre under construction, and so many new projects happening, it’s a great place to be.

 

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