The first day of rehearsals – this immense process begins! Although we’ve already work-shopped around ideas and themes, today felt like the first time we could really begin to get a visceral feel of the worlds of the plays. We all shared our visual research for Lear – some inspired by the play as a whole, some our initial responses to characters – and I felt a palpable sense of the place we are creating. In particular, an image of a Winter forest conjured up sounds of low conversations and footsteps in the snow – which opened up ideas of all the layers of people plotting, hiding, watching, conspiring. Some images were atmospheric, others more literal but they all helped to crack open the world of Lear.
We also got to meet our amazing puppet Ascanius! We all had a chance to operate him and develop how we will together to bring him to life. It will certainly pull us tighter as an ensemble to work with him, as it takes such attention to the other actors’ breathing and natural rhythm to create a detailed and truly life-like little boy.
Lastly, we got the opening scene of Lear up on it’s feet for the first time. It was amazing to see how we fit together as a company and I get a feeling that the energy and focus we can build as an ensemble could be something formidable!