It’s the final week of rehearsals and the cast are continuing to work in the theatre. As they get to grips with the stage itself, why don’t you too and design your own set for the Globe stage?
This week, one of the other final pieces of the puzzle will be added: the music. Check out Assistant Director Natasha’s blog, where she talks about working with the Composer Olly.
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Week 4 Blog
Today we began our final week of rehearsals. We were visited by Charlotte Mills, an actor who was in the cast of last year’s Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank production of Much Ado About Nothing, which Michael also directed.
She passed on some top tips about being an actor on the project, and also ran through some practical exercises based on her experience from last year. It was great to see knowledge passed from actor to actors, but Charlotte was also full of amazing stories about the incredible time she’d had doing this kind of production show. The cast finished her session even more excited to meet our audiences and share everything we’ve been working on with you!
Today we did a ‘stagger through’ of the play onstage, to explore the shape of the piece and how it will fit into the space. It also gave the cast a taste of what the Globe feels like to play when it’s full, as tours of the theatre are happening at the same time as rehearsals on stage.
‘Silent running’ is put in place, which means that tour groups are asked to be quieter during these times. However, it was still great to hear the reactions from the groups as they arrived to watch parts of the rehearsal! The actors also began to be able to share asides with a real audience for the first time, where they talk directly to them.
Today we ran through scenes from the first half of the play for the third time, making any tweaks to the blocking after the work onstage. Michael was also able to feedback with the actors on their characters, having experienced a stagger through of their journey from start to finish.
This is also a chance to explore the text on an even deeper level and to keep checking in on playing antithesis clearly. This is when Shakespeare uses two opposites to make a point, e.g. “Arise fair sun and kill the envious moon”.
Today we continued working through the scenes from the second half of the play. Michael was focussed on what happens after the death of Mercutio, as this is a real turning point for all the characters, and the point at which the marriage of Romeo and Juliet becomes much more complicated to reveal to their parents (as we believe Friar Laurence had eventually planned to when he agreed to conduct the ceremony). It is also when the clock starts ticking and becomes a race against time for the characters, as this is one of Shakespeare’s plays in which events take place in one of the shortest passages of time from the start to the end of the story.
Today we were joined by composer Olly and the band, who will be playing live throughout the show. The musicians have been rehearsing separately in music calls, but this morning was the first time they met the cast and could put together the live music with the dances, and a song the company have in the show.
In the afternoon it was time for a run through of the play, for which we were also joined by other departments working on the show including wardrobe. They were busy checking their ‘quick change’ chart, to see when they will need to help actors change costumes quickly during the show in the theatre. The run was also a chance for stage management to start to practice their journey in the show – bringing set on and off, when the Globe bell will ring, and where they might need to be backstage at different points.
It was great to see all of the work of the past four weeks come together. Next week we will go into tech, when everything can be run through onstage with all the costume, props, stage blood and music, to get it ready for our first audiences.