"You look at people in the streets and you go, 'Oh I like that there, I like that, what he’s doing there'. And so you grasp from people. I suppose, being an actor, that’s what you do: you just observe, don’t you? You listen, you watch, you learn. We’re all characters, each and every one of us..."
As we enter Week 3 of rehearsals, Josh takes us through discoveries both in and outside of the rehearsal room.
Time: 4 minutes 18 seconds
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Transcript of Podcast
Rona Kelly: We’re now in week three of rehearsals?
Joshua Lacey: This is week three.
RK: Can you tell us a bit about Emma Rice’s rehearsal room and where we are at the moment?
JL: Everyone is different. She’s very relaxed in a sense of, 'Let’s just get a shape, let’s just play'. We’ll do a scene a couple of times, and she’ll get a feel of it. We’re doing a lot of music, we’re doing a lot of dance, we’ve been concentrating on that as well. So it’s just very nice. Everyone’s playing: just playing, playing, playing. And that’s the important thing, I suppose, is to play, because that’s how you find stuff, isn’t it? That’s how you find stuff. For the listeners out there, the lights just went off in the room.
RK: We just wanted some mood lighting.
JL: We wanted some mood lighting. It’s just a shame you can’t be here!
JL: Yes! And now we are getting solid. No more scripts, off book. Now we’re really going to get the detail in: do the character work, seeing where everything lays out. Seeing what happens, what works, what doesn’t quite work. We’ve got another week and a half left, and we’ll run it eventually, maybe end of this week. And we’ve got to cut [the play] down, cut the fat off, get it nice and lean. Because you not going to be standing in the yard for an hour and half doing the first half; you’ve got to get it down, get it in, get out.
RK: What kind of relationships have developed so far in the rehearsal room?
JL: Well, Emma Rice, she’s known to cast a lovely, lovely team of people. And I think if you have that lovely team it’s just easy, it’s easy. Everyone gets on, there’s no animosity, there’s diversity which she is very on point with which is fantastic. The whole 50% women, all that: gender, colour, creed, religion. It’s a fantastic thing. And everyone’s bringing their own identities and pieces to the room.
As a character, obviously I’m going to relate to Viola/Cesario. So me and AJ [Anita-Joy Uwajeh] have a good bit of banter. But I’m working with one of my best mates, Marc Antolin [Sir Andrew Aguecheek], so it’s nice to have him in the room as well. And the wealth of experience, people bringing different experiences to it. Some people have done the RSC and they’re quite well-versed in Shakespeare, other people haven’t. But they can bring something new and fresh and imaginative, because they just do it. They don’t think about it, they just do it. And so it’s nice to see that as well.
RK: Have you had any discoveries with Orsino in the first couple of weeks? Something which maybe popped out which you went, 'Oh, I like that!'
JL: I always approach a character with physicality. I come from a dance background. So if I can get a walk, if I can find the walk of a character or the gait, the stance, then everything else will develop from there (the voice, mannerisms). And I found him quite hard. And then I saw Bob Dylan on Sunday Night at the Palladium and that was it. He came on, he was like this troubadour cowboy and he stood there with this wide leg stance like a gun-slinger and he had his hand on his hip...and that’s what it is. It’s that regalness, it’s that, 'I’m here. I’m the Duke. This is my manor. I can do what I want, what I please'. And it’s that stance; it’s that stillness I want to find in him. I’ve been looking a lot at Tom Waits, again elegantly wasted, very physical with the hands and that kind of thing. It’s not there yet, it’s not there, and I’ll keep playing, exploring. But I’ve discovered some poetry, discovered some music from the research from him, which is always nice to do.
RK: That’s funny because I just remember watching Imogen now, and I’ve just remembered your walk!
JL: My walk? Yes, well I found that [when] I was in Finchley and some guy came out of a pub and it was literally one o’clock in the afternoon. And he was walking like that and I thought 'There he is. That’s Cloten! There he is'. You look at people in the streets and you go, 'Oh I like that there, I like that, what he’s doing there'. And so you grasp from people. I suppose, being an actor, that’s what you do: you just observe, don’t you? You listen, you watch, you learn. We’re all characters, each and every one of us. And living in this boiling pot of London, there’s so many weird and wonderful characters you can just look at and go, 'There he is. There she is'.
RK: I’m going to be really wary now walking around the green room!
JL: I might take something from you. There you go! That’s it.
Thanks to Sarah for the transcription of this interview.