Shakespeare's Globe

RSS Rehearsal 1

“Yesterday I spoke the final speech out loud for the first time, and that was a very special moment in the rehearsal room for all of us as 8 women.”
Kate discusses her first read through of the ending as a company, mapping out the key relationships within the play, and that presenting Katherina’s journey is difficult but important.

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Time: 6 minutes 25 seconds

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Transcript of Podcast

Phil Brooks:

So, what have you been doing in rehearsals so far?

Kate Lamb:

Well, we’ve just been working through the first week. Working ‘round the table, making sure everybody understood everything that was being said because you can’t take that for granted. So, we did that. And since that, we’ve just been learning music instruments. I’ve been learning to play the spoons – although that might end up being cut. We’ve been learning songs, we’ve been learning new instruments, we’re learning jigs and we’ve been staging the play. So, we’ve been putting it up on its feet and getting to know the stage and working out where we can go and what areas are where and working out where our pretend audience will be.

PB:

So, you’ve done quite a lot of work looking at movement. Have you done voice as well?

KL:

Yes! I was lucky enough to have a voice session. We’ve got so little time, we’re just cramming everything in as much as we can, working really long hours. It’s all a bit of a mishmash in my head at the moment, but we’re covering all bases. I’ve got my character’s shoes, which are really useful for movement, I find. And just dictate a little bit how she walks, how she carries herself. Just to work out where her energy is, where her weight is. You know, whether she’s on the balls of her feet or sits back. I’ve got two characters. Christopher Sly – in the induction scene – is a man for one thing, and he’s a lot more laid back, his weight is further back than Katherina’s, who’s often on the front foot, often on the defensive, often active.

PB:

What relationships are important to your character and why?

KL:

Wow, all of them! Well, no, not all of them. She’s got a very complicated relationship with her sister, which Olivia Morgan and I have been working through. We’ve got a really nice back story to that and why they are the way they are and what jealousies exist between the two of them and why they’re so different and how that affects their relationship. So, we’ve been working on that. And that’s been really, really useful for the scenes that we have together, which aren’t very many. And we don’t really have any conversations, but it’s about making that relationship exist on stage without the words anyway. So, that’s been great. And also, similarly, with Kathryn Hunt who plays my father, Baptista. That’s a very interesting relationship that often isn’t (I think) explored. We’re just discovering things as we play. We’re just going, “oh, right” and playing that a bit heavier and working that in and things are becoming clearer about our characters through those interactions. So, that’s really exciting. And, of course, Kate and Petruchio is the big one. And that’s a relationship that is changing every single scene. It’s something different and it evolves and there’s a journey throughout it. And [we are] just trying to map that and work out what it is and marking it for the audience so that they can find their way through it as well as us.

PB:

I guess until you’ve started actually acting out the script, it’s hard to judge those relationships.

KL:

Well, that’s what we’re discovering now, through doing it. But we’ve only done it all sort of once through, roughly. And now we’ve got the time to work back through things and polish things off and find things. But we’ve sown the seeds and once we’re up on our feet that’s when things become apparent. And we found some great stuff that we, hopefully, can mine a little bit further and deeper into.

PB:

Similarly, what scenes or moments would you say are particularly significant to the interpretation of your character?

KL:

I might have to think about that. Well, the initial wooing scene between Petruchio and Katherina . They have this great battle of wits that we had great fun playing with. But it’s apparent that Petruchio nis not as good as he thinks he is and that’s quite interesting. I think when Katherina thinks that she’s won and then how he then spins it on its head at the very end of that and plays his trump card – which is that he’s already got my father’s permission to marry me – sort of spins things a little bit. But there’s an excitement in that relationship to begin with and that’s really defining. But, I don’t know. Gosh! There’s so many [relationships] that I’m discovering. I don’t think I can properly answer that until we start running it, until I can mark. So, I’m afraid that’s not a very good answer is it? Sorry.

PB:

No, no. It’s all in development, that’s the thing.

KL:

Yeah, it is.

PB:

Have you done any text work, specifically for your character? What have you noticed about the language they use?

KL:

We haven’t had the time for me, personally, to get any time out of rehearsals to meet with Giles [Block, Globe Associate, Text] individually. But hopefully that will happen next week. But, interestingly, Katherina doesn’t speak as much as you think she does, which is interesting for all manner of reasons about a shrewish woman and a scolding tongue and being silent and what she is projected to be by the other characters and what she may or may not actually be. But, in terms of her text, a lot of the time she has very well crafted speeches that don’t suggest she’s flying off the handle. I mean, there are those times where she’s more fiery and more straight off the hoof. She’s very clever when it comes to wit and words and rhetoric perhaps. But she is unable to make that work for her in a positive way. She hasn’t managed to affect the response that she wants, despite really making very good cases a lot of the time and whether that’s undercut by her previous behaviour or moments that have led to violent outbursts. But she’s got some brilliant words and brilliant speeches and I’m having great fun saying them.

PB:

Finally: what have been the highs and lows of the first few weeks of rehearsals?

KL:

Well, we had huge amount of cake one day! That was both a high and a low. Sugar crashes. Yesterday, I spoke the final speech out loud for the first time. And that was a very special moment in the rehearsal room for all of us, as eight women. We all came together at the end of it and just spontaneously got into a huddle and reassured everybody that it was okay and it was right and that what we’re doing as eight women on the stage – telling this story and presenting this character and her journey and her, sort of, tragedy – is a really empowering thing to do. And it’s painful and it’s difficult but it’s really important. So, that was quite a special moment.

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