| Rehearsal Diary

Week Three

Performances have really started growing this week. One-on-one sessions with Michael have given the principals a chance to talk through their individual relationships, motivations, journeys and any areas of concern.

man speaking during rehearsals

Our company feels in some way split in two, between the Fairies and the Lovers, who rarely rehearse at the same time or even have a sense of what the other is doing. What’s been interesting for those of us in the room for both worlds is how the two storylines offer different challenges, and how the actors are responding to them.

We’ve had some anxious questions arise about making the very poetic language employed by Titania, Oberon and Puck accessible for a modern audience, who may not grasp fifty per cent of the images or vocabulary. The process has been one of empowering these actors to ‘have their cake and eat it’ – to celebrate the verse and rhythm of Shakespeare’s language while resisting the temptation to assume that in doing so we are making it ‘less modern’. It’s a difficult balance and has seen some quite typical week three nerves surface.

One of our principals came down with a nasty sore throat and needed three days of rest, which meant we felt a little off-kilter, but it also allowed us to focus on some of the smaller details. I began rehearsing with the understudies, all of whom are members of the company, sketching through the blocking to give everyone a rough idea of the shape of the roles they are to cover. We will add more detail during the next couple of weeks.