Shakespeare's Globe

RSS Rehearsal Notes 2

This is Jack's second blog post. This week he discusses learning how his character moves, what's happened in rehearsals and being 'off book'.

Transcript of Podcast

Movement work

I’ve been doing work on my movement this week because naturally I’m someone who moves quite quickly and who has a lot of energy. I kind of just bounce from one thought to another, not necessarily finishing the original one, and I don’t have a huge amount of gravitas. We’ve been working on acquiring stillness and calming me down a bit. I need to be more physically and mentally expansive and confident. My natural instinct is to close up and be kind of small, but I’m playing one of the leaders of the world, so I have to be big and huge, even though I am quite slight, physically.

Rehearsals this week

  This week we’ve carried on going through the scenes, working on them and de-coding them. We sit around, say the scene in our own words, bung some action on and then get it up on the stage. It's a rough kind of blocking. Yesterday we did the final scene of the play so now we’ve moved back to the beginning to really start the play. This time around we are going into more detail. Dominic is telling us what he really wants out of each scene. Last time he would say where we should stand or what we should do and but this time his notes are very specific.

Director's notes

How notes are given varies. Sometimes he’ll say things at the beginning of the scene, sometimes at the end. Sometimes we might start the scene and then we’ll get to the point when either we’ve forgotten our lines or Dominic thinks it looks completely wrong, so he’ll might interrupt and say ‘No Jack, I think it might look better if you came on from the other side’ and so on. The actors do also get the chance to say, ‘Why don’t we do it like this?’ to some degree. If you feel you have something to say you just say it and Dominic is such a relaxed, lovely man that you don’t feel bad.

Being ‘off book’

I have to know all of my lines – be ‘off book’- for all of my scenes. I think the idea is that we have learnt our lines for the scenes as we go through them and I’ve managed so far! We did two scenes today and they were alright so that was quite good. But I’ve got quite a bit of work to do tonight because I have four scenes to know for tomorrow. My way of learning lines is by reading the scene loads and loads. I read it every night before going to sleep. I read the whole of my part from start to finish before sleeping, and then I look at it again when I get up in the morning so that it somehow infiltrates my brain. I read quite fast when I read through at night because I’m quite keen to get to bed, but it normally takes about 20 minutes just to run through quickly. I don’t think my girlfriend is very happy with me sitting there with my script when she is just dozing off to sleep next to me and I’m there reading away with the light. It's not a very sociable thing!

 

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

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