Shakespeare's Globe

RSS Performance Notes 2

This is Chu's final blog post. This week he discusses how performances have progressed since his last post, the re-rehearsal process, and the 'Storytelling Macbeth' production for GlobeLink schools.

Transcript of Podcast

Performances

I feel much more relaxed now that we have done a fair number of performances. I think that our use of the Globe space, particularly during the ‘England’ scene, has hugely improved. Mark Rylance [Artistic Director] gave everybody notes about the use of the space. He talked about using ‘the golden triangles’, which are the spaces in front of and to the sides of each of the pillars. The pillars always obstruct the audiences’ view at some point of the play. However, the ‘golden triangles’ are positions on the stage where you can be seen at any time. Another good position is upstage centre. It's also good to try and always be in a diagonal line rather than side-by-side if you are talking to someone, because one of you will always be seen. Initially, trying to remember all of these things felt very forced but it feels more natural now.

The ‘England’ scene has changed quite a lot since the rehearsals, but it is becoming more consistent. When you play a scene again and again there are certain patterns that you discover, which seem to work well. In rehearsals, scenes change moment by moment because you are still in a constant state of discovery. We recently did about six performances in a row and, for the first time, I was happy with every single one. Sometimes you don’t feel great about a performance but I’ve now found a level of confidence with my performance. I know that my use of the space has improved and I am confident that my portrayal of Malcolm. If the director asked me to do a scene in a different way, that was still consistent with my character, I feel as though I’d now have the confidence and flexibility to do it.

Re-rehearsals

We are just about to start the re-rehearsal period (this is something that all of the acting companies at the Globe do). For the next two weeks we will be rehearsing the show with the director, as well as performing it. I hope we won’t be spending all out time on technical considerations because I think it will be important for us to get back to the root of the play and concentrate on talking to one another as much as possible. I would love to talk through the play just sitting around with each other, without doing any of the moves. I would like to focus on the scenes for short but intense periods. Tim Carroll [Master of Play] spent two days speaking to everyone in the company individually about how they were feeling about the production.

'Storytelling Macbeth'

We have just done two performances called ‘Storytelling Macbeth’ (for GlobeLink schools), which were basically highlights from the show with a professional Storyteller interweaving his own telling of the story in-between. The first time we did it I found it difficult because I felt that the storyteller was working on a different level. However, during the second performance we felt more involved. Mark Rylance, the Artistic Director, did the storytelling, and as he is more familiar with this production he was able to become part of the company. I felt part of what was going on, and that I was helping to tell a story.

Rehearsals are always my favourite part of a production because you meet new people. In performance I get very nervous, but it is great when you have done it. Even though this is a job that I love, I have standards that I am constantly trying to improve, and I do feel I’m progressing.

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 change frequently as the rehearsal and performance process progresses.

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