Shakespeare's Globe

RSS Rehearsal Notes 2

This is Robert's second and final blog entry for the 2005 production of Pericles in which he discusses continuing rehearsals, Act 1, Scene 1, improvisation and future rehearsals.

Transcript of Podcast


From day to day I gain more and more information about the text, the thoughts, and the meanings which are all really helpful. We recently went through the text with Stuart Pearce, the Voice Master at the Globe, and discussed the meaning, rhythm and pronunciation. This was particularly helpful to me because there’s such a huge difference in Hungarian and English in how words are pronounced. When you speak English, you rarely connect the words together whereas in Hungarian we do connect the words fairly often. Sometimes, the last letter of a word changes, because of the next word’s first letter. I realised that my speeches were occasionally too rushed and didn’t have the right meaning, and thinking about this difference allowed me to correct this.
Here is an example:

…I loved you, and could still,
Were not this glorious casket stored with ill.

Act 1, scene 1

In Hungarian we would say, ‘were not this’ [without any real pause and the words would run quickly into each other] And in English it’s: were…not…this [with more of a pause between the words].

This different way of pronunciation provides a different meaning. When full, the Globe can hold 1,500 people, and the audience need time to hear and understand the words. It proved really helpful to take time to say a word exactly without rushing or hurrying anything, because then the energy, the meaning and the thoughts of the words just came out. Although all of this was voice work with Stuart [Pearce, Master of Voice], it had connections to the rest of my character work.


As the performances will be starting in a couple of weeks, we no longer spend as much time on improvisations, but rather focus on the actual text and aim to give shape to what’s important and what’s less important in the scenes. However, we have still been doing a few improvisations. We have the structure of the play, but within this structure we can improvise because we still have some time to try out things and explore things. Most of the improvisation doesn’t really involve me because we’re not rehearsing the scenes with the young Pericles.
Rehearsing on the Globe stage

We have created some wonderful movement work on the Globe stage. We want to create a feeling of sea, whether it is a calm or a rough sea, or a storm, so we tried to experimenting with moods. We found this very difficult because it is a new space and it was just difficult to work out who was moving or speaking at each point. That space really does amaze me. You are bigger, taller, stronger, braver, even more sad on the stage: everything gets bigger.

Future rehearsals

We haven’t yet finished the whole play, so we’ll be using the last few weeks to complete it. This week we’ll have a Choreographer and will work on some more technical aspects, such as knowing the steps, the rhythm, and then putting together the music and speech and feeling so that we’ll get it just perfectly!

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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