Shakespeare's Globe

RSS Treslissick Gardens, Cornwall

Trelissick is magical. The gardens are an array of secret and mysterious looking places, from Rupunzal’s tower to an Arthurian lake and then our walled garden of Verona.

Transcript of Podcast

My good sweet mouse I commend me heartily to you …

Trelissick is magical. The gardens are an array of secret and mysterious looking places, from Rupunzal’s tower to an Arthurian lake and then our walled garden of Verona. We are actually within the orchard walls for the balcony scene, which is amazing.

We sit preparing for the show in dark oak panelled dressing rooms with iron bars on the doors. They are meant for horses rather than actors - we are not taking that as suggestive in anyway - actually it’s a novelty having separate rooms to change in. Strange though, Elliot always seems to end up in the girl’s dressing room and bizarrely we have never challenged this. Maybe this is where reality and fantasy blur and we don’t even realise that the skirt and corset on his chair are his costume; dangerous!

The stables make us feel we could be in the Renaissance. There is very little light which makes make-up a little tricky, but that is ok for me as I don’t wear any. There is not much point when my hair gets pulled around and my face is screwed up a lot or actually in the floor boards. Also I embrace my spots when they come as a teenage character aid!

It’s only a little stint at Trelissick, which after a long week, this being our third venue and the drive back to the campsite being an hour, is a relief. But its short and sweet.

The acoustics here are friendly and the audiences are small, so it’s been really personal and a wonderful chance to develop more subtleties that were opened up earlier on in Sterts. It also means that we can whisper moments of disbelief and quietly realise pain without having to do it operatic style. The walled courtyard also means that we feel inside the world and then when all the terrible things happen you are really trying to break out and fly up into the sky and space beyond the walls.

Having a smaller audience means they are quieter. It also means the vocal response from the audience, we have come to expect, isn’t the same. There have been a lot of families in the audience which is very encouraging. Many people are sat on those fold up chairs that sometimes allow people to be sucked into a sleep. I noticed a few ‘resters’ in the matinee from the older generation. I definitely blame the chairs as even the sword fight didn’t seem to awaken them. It was also very hot and sunny. Maybe they were just resting their eyes. These chairs as well as being portable are, as we experienced on the first night, quite competitive with the show. At the opening of the play we are all on stage on the van watching Romeo, Montague and Benvolio, but as one lady sat in her fold up chair it collapsed and she was folded up inside it. Her husband then moved away from her to disassociate himself from her and she held her hand over her mouth to hold back the hysterics. We tried to too.

The weather has been ‘Cornish’. The sun when it has been out has been fantastic and we have remained unaffected by the monsoons flooding the rest of the country. We had the chance to do a brilliant warm up in a swimming pool. We played a competitive game of handball/volley ball/thing. We had a really different show after that. We worked together with a new sharpness. And, giggles in the sun makes everything different. The rain has threatened us though. Before the last show we all stood in the stables watching the audience dress themselves up for the severe weather and preparing to stand their ground. So we knew that as normal the type of audience that this tour has evoked was not going to let a severe weather warning prevent Romeo and Juliet. Sure enough right before the show it fell out of the heavens, but actually by the time we started it had stopped. We still got wet as the warped stage had pools of water on it, but it felt familiar. Maybe we are hardier.

What has also been ‘Cornish’ is the teas, and the boys have enjoyed the tradition of cream pyramids in the afternoon. The kind man in the café provided us with cappuccinos during the ‘get out’ which was such so lovely. He had seen the show earlier and felt that we must need a caffeine hit to get out after the two hours traffic. There wasn’t quite that empathy from another member of the trust who insisted, on my return journey from the traditional pre-show loo run (in costume!), I couldn’t open a particular door I had banged on my way in, so I was stuck in the corridor where the audience were coming in. I resigned myself to walking through the auditorium. I have become used to meeting audience in the loos in the interval.

Oh, and in true touring style Trelissick has not gone without an injury! After the matinee, during which we had struggled with a few surprise lines coming out in the last scene, we ran off furiously after the bow - keen to escape from the tension. Richard ran straight into the gravel and ripped off half his leg! He still did the evening performance and you couldn’t tell. The brave man performed perfectly with a pussing leg! Love is painful.

… And so sweet mouse, farewell, and brook our long journey with patience,

Ellie Piercy

Back to top



We welcome your opinions. This is a public forum. Libellous and abusive comments are not allowed. Please read our Forum Rules.