Now over half-way through our third week of rehearsals and the pressure is on. We’ve made fantastic progress this week, with Lear almost entirely on it’s feet we’ve now turned our attention back onto Dido and are pushing full steam ahead to the end of the play. Today we’ve been talking a LOT about punctuation, which may sound boring (and I’m sure some of the company would agree!) but it’s invaluable. Not only does it give the practical use of allowing the actor a chance to breathe, it also opens up the language to provide insight into the thoughts and intentions of the characters. If you put a comma in the wrong place, suddenly the whole meaning of a sentence could change. Although Shakespearean and Jacobean texts can be dense, really it’s all there on the page. When we stick to the punctuation as written, it all makes sense. When working with plays by the most celebrated and influential playwrights in history, we can trust that they knew what they were doing!
Week three is racing on and both of the productions are gradually becoming whole! It’s exciting to see the shape of each piece emerge, really looking forward to putting everything together for the first complete run-throughs on Friday. We covered the battle scene in Lear this week – some brilliant stylised movement and (lots!) more crazy running are making this a charged, chaotic climax to the play. We’ve also almost finished all of Dido – we covered lots of ground, breaking down text and scenes today and experimented with different ways of playing our all-important love scene. The whole company sang our fantastic song to underscore the scene and all of its beautiful harmonies added a warm energy to what will be a very moving scene.