Shakespeare's Globe

RSS Rehearsal Notes 3

It has been decided that the production will open with a masque or carnival scene.

Transcript of Podcast

It has been decided that the production will open with a masque or carnival scene. Marcello is responsible for devising this, which will involve the actors using a mask and developing a character that is different from the one they play in The Merchant of Venice itself. This will largely take place in the yard amongst the groundling audience.

The company have now had some rehearsal on the Globe stage itself and this has led to some discoveries for Marcello – most importantly the amount of secret plotting that goes on between Jessica and Launcelot in order to arrange her elopement with Lorenzo. Marcello must find ways of communicating with Jessica secretly across a large stage, in a way that it will be possible for the audience to see, but which will be undetected by Shylock.

It has been decided that Marcello will be responsible for the interval calls, he will announce the interval and go out onto the piazza to call the audience into the theatre at the end of the interval - he will have to stay in character throughout this period.

Marcello is also now concentrating on fully developing the physicality of his character. He is exploring ways in which Gobbo's hump will effect his performance and movements. During rehearsal Marcello sits, moves and even writes as he feels Gobbo would – even after he has finished rehearsing his scenes – this helps him to develop the character in greater detail.

There are still some lines and scenes which areproblematic, in particular Act 3 Scene 5 in Belmont. Marcello is still exploring different ways of playing the scene – especially his conversation with Lorenzo. Above all Marcello is now looking forward to working on the Globe stage in front of an audience.

These comments are the actor's thoughts or ideas about the part as s/he goes through the rehearsal process – they are simply his/her own interpretations and frequently change as the rehearsal process progresses.

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