Shakespeare's Globe

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I don’t think any of us had ever been to Buxton before, so we came not knowing what to expect, although people kept telling us how beautiful it is.

Transcript of Podcast

Greetings from the beautiful spa town of Buxton!

I don’t think any of us had ever been to Buxton before, so we came not knowing what to expect, although people kept telling us how beautiful it is. We ended up going out to see the sights all the time! Mark [Quartley, playing Lysander] and I went to some indoor caves, and we kept sending people to these amazing places we’d discovered. There’s so much to see, and we’re very lucky that we get a chance to visit the town in the day, other than matinee days.

The Pavilion Gardens themselves are beautiful. You’re surrounded by natural beauty, with water and ducks everywhere. I find that we go from venue to venue and we just cling onto the last one because it was so precious, and you think “well, the next one may not be so nice” – but it’s amazing. It was extraordinarily hot though, and as wonderful as it is for the audience it’s actually quite tough for us: even at 7:30 in the evening, it is still really quite hot.

I lost my voice earlier in the week, which made performing really tricky. It’s never happened to me before, and all you can really do is rest. I’ve been drinking a lot of honey and lemon, and Simon [Merrells, playing Oberon] was telling me various things about sage tea, which I’ve now downed pints of! I was seen by a chemist and they give you all they can to get you through the show. It was tricky, but you just have to plough on. It’s so true that old phrase about ‘the show must go on’, because there’s no option when 500 people are sitting there with their champagne ready to watch a show, there’s nothing you can do, you just have to carry on. So that’s what I did, and it’s still a little bit sore, but I’m getting better.

The audiences have been huge! I’m not quite sure how they determined the audience capacity, but I think it was about 500 or so for most shows, so it was pretty good. Being in such an open and public space we had people standing behind the stage, watching and loving it and lots of little ones running in and out. It’s great.

The play has been developing during the run. We had a chat just before one of our Buxton shows and discussed some things that had gone a bit awry that we needed to tighten up. I think that’s really normal for companies to have to do. I feel quite grateful that I’m in this company – in other companies I’ve performed in some people find that their egos are being stepped on. It is quite hard; you have to be very gentle with each other. But there were things that needed to be tightened, and actually even after just a 20 minute chat things improved so much.

I think the play’s going from strength to strength - we’re learning so much as we go. We’re all at different levels of professional experience, but I think we’re learning from each other – the guys who’ve been acting for ages have been learning from the new guys as well as the other way round, which I think is a really unique factor of working for the Globe. You learn these things, and it’s not just about having been in the business for ages, you learn things from everyone, which is great.

We’re returning to the Globe for a couple of performances, and then we’re back on our travels around the UK, but we're off to Neuss in Germany next!

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