"It's been a crucial layer to the creation of the play." Jessie describes the important role that music plays in the production and further discusses the strengths that she finds in Miranda.
Time: 4 minutes 33 seconds
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Transcript of Podcast
What have you been doing in rehearsals since we last spoke?
Well, this is the last week before we start tech, so we have been just tightening up the bolts of the play. And we did our first run yesterday of the whole play, which is really exciting because I spent half the play not seeing what goes on in the rest of the island. So, it was really nice to see everybody’s work and see how much it has grown since the first read through. So, yeah – that’s what we’ve been doing this week.
So, how have the jig rehearsals been going?
Oh, they’ve been really good fun actually! I think it’s such a lovely tradition to have for after the play has ended. And I always have fond memories of watching the jogs when I have come to see plays at the Globe. There’s been lots of laughter and fun, really. It’s been really good fun. And Sian [Williams], who’s choreographed it, has been fantastic. As well, I suppose, just keeping the stories of the characters within the jig. And, as well, it’s a marriage of all the different characters, coming together. In a way, towards the end of the play, there’s some sort of resolve within the divide that has happened previously and before the play began. And it’s quite nice to marry that within the dance and, in a way, have peace.
How important is music to this production?
Well, music (I think) is... the magical aspect in the play has been really enhanced by the music. And Steven Warbeck, who’s written the music, has really written some really fantastic music. Really beautiful and quite delicate and there’s an etherealness that he’s added into the music, which is really nice to bring the magic really alive. So, I think it’s been a crucial layer to the creation of this play.
What is the music used? Because you said it has this ethereal quality that works with the magic...
It’s used generally when there’s magic involved. So, whenever Ariel [sings] – Ariel sings quite a lot. It’s used when we have the big masque. So, anything where there are spirits or magic involved or Prospero’s trying to put me to sleep or something – he does that a lot; he gets bored of Miranda and just goes “buzzzzzzz” – there’s music involved in that.
How have your initial impressions of your character changed or been confirmed since the beginning of the process?
I think, when you first read the play (even before we start rehearsals), you’ve a very instinctual reaction to who you are, who this character is, what this story’s about, and how she fits within this story. And, as rehearsals go on, it just grows and grows and grows, I think. And sometimes, actually, your very first instincts are (I always find) the purest and most true. And very often, when you go on, you make more realizations about the depths of a relationship or what this character really wants within the story. But, it’s always good to tune back into when you first met this person, as an outsider of the play, and why she spoke to you.
It has grown, but I don’t feel like there have been major discoveries. I often feel you need to just nurture your initial instinct. Actually, since this week, I’ve been thinking of physical aspects of Miranda. I don’t know, for some reason I’ve decided that she should... Because a lot of people relate to her as a goddess when they first see her (and I remember saying last week that I think she’s quite like Queen Elizabeth I and I’ve done some research on Queen Elizabeth and looked at images of her), there’s something almost balletic about people who hold those positions. You know what I mean with ballet dancers that they have a kind of ethereal strength, which is very light but they’re always ready to move? And I think Miranda is quite like that, as well. So, this week, I’ve been watching lots of documentaries on ballet, which may or may not help me, but who knows.
So, my last question is: what have been the highs and lows of these last few weeks?
To be honest, yesterday (when we did the first run-through), it was so exciting to be in that room and to see just really amazing work going on. So, that has been, for me, a real celebration of what has gone on over the last few weeks and that’s been definitely one of the highs. One of the highs – there have been many highs. But it felt really exciting to be on the cusp of sharing this now with the public and with people who want to listen to the story.