Shakespeare's Globe

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"Costumes - that's the exciting bit!" Now in Tech week, Sam talks about getting on the stage for the first time and wearing her many costumes!

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Time: 5 minutes 37 seconds

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Transcript of Podcast

Hayley Bartley:

So, let’s look to where we are now then; you’re in Tech week?

Samantha Spiro:

Yes, in Tech. Finally, we’re here, in the theatre!

Hayley:

And what happens in Tech week?

Sam:

Well, costumes – that’s the exciting bit - which are absolutely beautiful. All of the costumes have been made from scratch and they’re just amazing. And, actually, I’ve got quite a few costumes unusually as well. I think there are four different costumes. I’ve got the wedding dress which then is broken down and looks like it’s been dragged through mud and through…

Hayley:

So you’ve got two wedding dresses?

Sam:

So two wedding dresses. We had a fitting just last week. They’re both absolutely identical and then we know that one of them had to be taken away and distressed and so the costume-maker was sitting in the room, she said, “I don’t think I can look, I can’t! I can’t listen to this bit of the conversation!” So we’re saying, “Yes, we’ll tear that sleeve off there shall we? And put mud splatter bits on that and just rip that bit there” - and then finally I arrived and saw the result today, which looks absolutely brilliant. So costumes is a big thing and then, of course, being on that stage, in that auditorium, as opposed to the rehearsal room, and acclimatising to that, is pretty major but really liberating and exciting.

Hayley:

Because this is the first time, isn’t it? Because you haven’t had the opportunity before?

Sam:

I haven’t been on that stage before, I’ve never acted here before, and we, as a company, haven’t been out there yet, so it’s great.

Hayley:

We were talking about you get a longer Tech week than perhaps other theatres.

Sam:

We do, but then we don’t go into the evenings, which is odd, actually, because in a normal space, once you’re in, you’re the company that’s in, it’s your set that goes up and it stays up. So you tech during the day and into the evening, and you do that for about two or three days and then you’re on at the end of the third night, usually, and that’s your first preview. But it’s over five days, we don’t go into the evenings at all because, of course, Henry V is on. And then on Saturday night, our first night of working, we’re there in front of an audience; a real, live audience!

Hayley:

How have the jig rehearsal been going?

Sam:

Great, great. It took a while to, sort of, get going and then suddenly it was there. It was amazing, actually, because Simon and I only come in, sort of, halfway through it, but it seemed quite hectic and chaotic and as though it was never going to come together. And then two days later, it suddenly, everyone got it and then we had the music and the rhythm of it and I think it’s quite wonderful; it feels really exciting.

Hayley

Is it something you, kind of, work on from the beginning, throughout other rehearsals?

Sam:

Yes, we had, probably, one session a week on it, so it never felt as though we were getting anywhere and then suddenly, you know, sort of, when it needs to, right at the end of rehearsals, it’s there. It feels lovely to do, actually, because it was quite an organic process. Sian [Williams, choreographer] would often say to us, you know, she would give us an idea, an image of something, and then say, “What do you think you might do in that moment?” A lot of it we were coming up with ourselves, and then she’s piecing it all together and having the overall effect.

Hayley:

And what’s it like working with musicians now as well?

Sam:

Oh, it’s wonderful, they’re just amazing. There are such unusual traditional instruments and it’s so lovely to hear it. And they’re just there and it’s all interwoven and so not having anything artificial feels very unusual. I mean, obviously, you’ve worked with live musicians before but not having a soundtrack, not having the lights to deal with; it’s a very different tech to a normal theatre. This feels just very, very out in the elements and it’s just what everybody is bringing and what nature is bringing. It’s wonderful!

Hayley:

And finally, then, I just want to ask what have been the highs and the lows of rehearsals?

Sam:

I would say our run-through on Saturday was, probably, a high, because we hadn’t even run the individual acts, let alone put the whole play together, so suddenly to be, sort of, thrust into that - and the adrenaline in that room was quite extraordinary because we just had no idea how it was going to piece together. And suddenly there are lots of people watching, because all the different departments had to see it, because it was the one and only run and it was the only chance that they were going to get in the rehearsal room. So there are the added nerves of suddenly people watching us and we didn’t really feel confident that we had got a production. So I would say, so far, that has been a real high, but lots of different highs along the way. We’ve laughed so much, you know, a ridiculous amount. At times we’ve just got to smack our wrists and say, “We’ve got to stop laughing, we’ve got to get on”. But it’s a combination of people doing very funny things in the show, but also there’s just a great atmosphere amongst us all; it’s a very happy company. And I do often feel that that’s not a bad thing, you know, when there’s that hilarity in the room, it often means that the work is, hopefully, going to be O.K.

Lows: Early on I was asked to be in the Induction and I felt that the character that I had been asked to play, it didn’t really sit very happily with me and so that was a low for a couple of days, sort of, having to deal with that. But then Toby [Frow, director] was so brilliant and we chatted about it and I think he probably agreed in the end that somebody else would do it better. And so that worked out well and I was pleased that, you know, I was able to speak to him and come through that. But apart from that, I don’t think there have been too many lows at all; it’s great fun. 

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