This is Tas' second blog post. This week, he discusses his part, the play and the challenges of starting rehearsals.
Transcript of Podcast
The scripts we are working from the first folio edition of Antony & Cleopatra. Dominic explained that he felt that the first folio hasn’t suffered from all of these editors who Dominic feels have edited and edited out an element of the life of the play. The thing about Antony & Cleopatra is that there is a lot of action and the action happens very quickly. In some editions there have been so many words changed or commas added that you kind of miss a bit of the flow and the action. Also, the folio is drawn as much as possible from the original source, Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans.
Maecenas is one of Caesar's friends. Caesar has two main friends - Agrippa is the other - and they are Caesar's lieutenants if you like. They are not rulers in Rome but they are advisors. I’m slowly beginning to understand Maecenas and his character and part of that comes from understanding the world that we are in; this very male-dominated world that functions on order, honour and responsibility. I’m reading about Rome and finding out about Octavius Caesar. I think if I can understand Octavius Caesar then hopefully I can get a hold on what the others characters are about.
First impressions of Maecenas
My first impression is that he is diplomatic. There is a scene about sealing the friendship between Antony and Caesar [Act 2 Scene 2). Agrippa suggests that Antony should marry Caesar's sister and Maecenas supports and agrees with that action so my initial impressions of him are that Maecenas is concerned with order, with honour and with the stability of the triumvirate, and doing the right thing by Rome. That has been my initial impression and I’m hoping to discover other aspects of him.
I have enjoyed this week but it has also been quite challenging because there's so much to do. We had one read of the play right at the beginning of the week, and then bang, we’re straight into blocking it. We’re not making final decisions but we’re trying to provide a framework from which we can peel back some extra layers and get a bit more detail. It's very good but at the same time I suppose it is quite challenging, because you are thrown in at the deep end, and you are finding and discovering things as you go. I suspect that as we go on we will get more and more in depth and more secure in it. It's like anything - at the beginning of the process you are always feeling slightly on edge and slightly unnerved.
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.