Shakespeare's Globe

RSS Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire

Belvoir Castle is absolutely beautiful. It's very big and we are performing on the lawn right beside it. The castle is our backdrop, it’s gorgeous.

Transcript of Podcast

My good sweet mouse, I commend me heartily to you...

Belvoir Castle is absolutely beautiful. It's very big and we are performing on the lawn right beside it. The castle is our backdrop, it’s gorgeous. The lawn is on a bit of a hill, so the audience were look up at us, which makes things a bit difficult, but we have had some fantastic audiences. They are really up for it and really enjoy it. Playing down the slope meant that sight lines have had to change; you aim everything downwards. The audience all move round to the sides a bit more to make sure that everyone can see - and we are having big audiences - maybe three or four hundred people. The weather has held out for us too; it has been really sunny.

We aren’t doing any matinees here - there are weddings on every day - so we just do evening performances, which I prefer. It's getting darker towards the end of the show now, as the summer is passing. It was pitch black by the time we finished the show last night. I think the second half lends itself to being in the dark, a lot of the action happens at night time. We have plenty of light on the set. We have had to adapt to not relying on natural light, but making sure that you are in the stage lights. In the first half, you can use the whole stage, but in the second half when it's darker, you can't be right at the front of the stage, for example, as you wouldn't be lit. You also have to be aware of the shadows on stage - if there's two of you on stage and you're playing on the diagonals, you need to make sure that you're not blocking the light from someone's face, and that they're not blocking the light from your face, so that everyone can see.

We have had to change the deaths at the end, at bit. I have to go right up on to my knees, and pull Ellie up into my chest, so that we both can be seen. Ellie then has to do a similar thing - she does a bit of her death speech standing, and then comes down to me. People at the back of the audience stood up to see, which they sometimes do, but particularly in this venue.

I'm definitely still enjoying the travelling. The other day we had an accident with the costume box, which was in the back of the minibus that we use to drive around in. We were driving home one night after the show, going up a hill, and the costume box hadn't been strapped in properly, so it fell back and smashed the back windscreen of the minibus. We had to stop and the boys all got out the van, phoned the stage managers, two girls, who came and sorted it out. The boys stood around watching.

It's all great fun; the company are a great group of actors and the audiences are really enjoying it. It can be hard at times, but it's fun at the end of the day. It's a very enjoyable show with a good company and audiences who all come and sit through the rain, or bugs eating them alive, or the cold night. And the fact that they are willing to sit through the elements really spurs me on to do it as well as I can.

We are all going through the same thing, the actors and the audience, so if it's cold, everyone is cold together, or everyone is wet together.

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

Richard Madden

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