Shakespeare's Globe

RSS Production Notes 1

Sonia enjoys the technical and preview part of the production period as this allows her to be practical about her role, she finds that little details develop very quickly at the end of the rehearsal process.

Transcript of Podcast

Sonia enjoys the technical and preview part of the production period as this allows her to be practical about her role, she finds that little details develop very quickly at the end of the rehearsal process.

The first performance of the play was interesting for the actors because there was a huge thunderstorm during the casket scenes. It was very loud and the actors had to struggle to be heard over the noise of the storm. This kind of weather also affects the audience – the groundlings get wet and the actors have to work very hard to communicate the story of the play through these distractions.

Sonia feels it is very important to be very confident on stage but never to demand attention away from other actors. She is beginning to develop her character with an audience and is realising they will react to moments in the play and relate to Nerissa in a way which she might not have initially have anticipated. Sonia has also found that as Nerissa she is able to comment on the action of the play, or other characters. For example while their new husbands return to Venice to defend Antonio, Portia decides that she and Nerissa should live as nuns. Sonia is able to show the audience that Nerissa disapproves of this scheme and thus enter into a relationship with the audience.

As performances progress Sonia is able to enjoy the part more and more. She has found that the audience reacts to her very positively in her role as the boy during the court scene. Sonia has to be careful not to play too much on this reaction and detract from the audience's focus on other characters in that scene, such as Shylock and Antonio.

Sonia particularly enjoys the song she sings before Bassanio make his choice of casket, she is able to try singing it in different ways and to respond to the mood of the play and the audience. She is also beginning to find Nerissa's vulnerability at that moment – she has staked her fortunes on Bassanio's choice as she has told Gratiano that she will only marry him if Bassanio is successful in his bid to marry Portia.

At the end of Act 2 Scene 9 Sonia has one line alone on stage, "Bassanio, Lord Love, if thy will it be!" Sonia is still uncertain of the best way to say this line, she doesn’t feel at this point that it quite works in performance, it is however very exciting for Sonia to be alone on the stage for that moment, although it also carries a great responsibility for the actor as s/he alone has to hold the attention of the 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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