Shakespeare's Globe

RSS At The Globe

Hamlet is back at the Globe! Amanda talks about the challenges of the Globe but how this is the space where her role is finally coming together, including the accomplishment of a very fast costume change.

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Time: 5 minutes, 52 seconds

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Transcript of Podcast

Hayley Bartley:

Okay, well let’s talk about the Globe now then, so how did you find this venue?

Amanda Hadingue:

The first night was challenging, it really was, not unpleasantly so because you can feel it’s got an amazing energy there. The challenge of it isn’t a sort of horrible draining, it’s not a fight, but the first night I found a bit of a shock to the system. For lots of reasons; it’s not only unlike what we’ve just played, it’s unlike anything I’ve played. And I’ve played sort of in the round and courtyard spaces, and it’s not that I’m not familiar with that, but the Globe is so particular. The nearness of the audience, the daylight, kind of where they are, the kind of mood of the Globe audience and what they bring to it is very particular, so the first night I felt a bit “Wahay!”.

HB:

When you first come on, like as actors, it’s kind of like “Oh God!”

AH:

Yeah, you just think, you’re just sort of really aware of the – I hesitate to say problems because it doesn’t feel, they don’t feel like issues that, as you say, you have to battle with, but the second night was a very different feeling, the second night I felt we all kind of stepped up to the plate...

HB:

...I was there then....

AH:

...Much more. I mean the audience on the first night were fantastic and that also, they were so vocal and, you know, alive and keen, that was kind of a shock as well because Street and Margate had been quite quiet and restrained, so all of that kind of came at us in a big kind of “woosh”. As well as we had changed the shape of the set and started to think about slightly re-blocking, so there were new things to deal with.

HB:

I guess - so a larger stage to deal with? The pillars?

AH:

We had the pillars to deal with which I’m still thinking about and wondering about how much that needs to change what I do. Yes and literally our set has sides on it, it’s kind of half a box shape, and those sides were opened out flat so that the audience can see us. But it’s still slightly obstructive, they can see for example behind the scenes at some moments.

HB:

I’ve heard about this, so if you’re on the side you could see you guys frantically changing. I need to go again and see that.

AH:

Yeah and hopefully all of that is enjoyable for them, I think it is. You know the Globe, it gives you extra treats like that that you don’t get anywhere else. And I have one speech in the second half where I’m quite static and wherever you go, wherever I choose to place, that you know that someone won’t be able to see. So at the moment I’m sort of wrestling about what to do about that, or whether to accept it and actually know that they can see the other actors responding to it so they’re getting a different point of view, or whether I indeed do need to be dashing around make sure that everyone gets a little piece of it or - I don’t know.

HB:

Yeah I think there’s pluses and minuses to it, you get different parts of it. And like you said, with the curtain coming across, some people get the comedy aspect whereas others – I was kind of face on so I was getting the Hamlet-Ophelia part, so I think that’s really interesting. Because they have a serious moment but, yeah, there are some people laughing on the side because they couldn’t see the other bits. I think it’s interesting.

AH:

I agree. I mean that’s something that I like anyway about theatre is the fact that you can sort of edit it for yourself as you watch it and that obviously not everyone is having the same experience anyway. And when you have a space that kind of literally visually divides that up, for me I quite like that and enjoy it when I’m in the audience.

HB:

And so how are you finding the quick pace of it with the changes. You have the music and the costumes.

AH:

Yeah, there’s one change in it that Jess, from wardrobe, and I have been battling with since the word go and we cracked it last night. Because there’s one bit that I have to change very quickly out of Gertrude into a grave digger and there is one short song to do it in and we finally cracked that one.

HB:

You just literally, every other time, have just not quite had enough time?

AH:

I just haven’t been getting there. We’ve just had to start the scene as I’m coming on or I have to build a little bit of grave as well in there and poor old John [Polonius] is there tapping his foot waiting for me to get there and finally last night was all quite leisurely. I could probably have a cup of tea in that change now.

HB:

That’s really great, that it’s developed and now you’ve finally got it. I like that. And is there any, you’ve mentioned a few times, but any things that at the Globe work better or worse, do you think? Any other elements? You have the use I’ve heard of the balcony, you use the actual stage balcony as well.

AH:

Yes, for a music cue. Yes, we briefly have that as part of it. And then I think it kind of suits the energy of the play and this production, it suits the sort of the fast pace of it and the sort of meta-theatre is built in that. We are a group of players turning up to then play Hamlet to you and you will see us changing and you will see us playing music and you will see us swapping characters. Somehow that all feels like a lot of fun in the Globe as though it just really fits with the space and the way the audience can read it here because they are free to stand and move when they want. You know the fluidity of it feels really good here. And there are other things that you just have to change how they work, so you can get quite an intimate delivery of something like Gertrude’s willow speech about Ophelia’s death in the second half and you have to make that more muscular here and in some ways that’s a kind of, that’s something to wrestle with. But actually when you crack it and you actually make the language work for you, you kind of just realise how muscular and powerful that language is. So that whole thing of kind of trusting the language and realising that it will support you is something you just have to do in the Globe because of the space in the way that your voice works. And if you finally dare to do it and again this is something for me that’s grown over the last few days you realise it will carry you and that’s, you feel like you’re in the next level of a game. I’m not suggesting that I’ve completely cracked it all but I just had that feeling last night of like “Oh yeah”.

HB:

That’s nice that you’re getting there. The Globe has brought out these things, onwards to everywhere else.

AH:

Yeah, absolutely.

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