As we embark on our final production of the year we want to share the process with you of this, the iconic Merchant of Venice. Assistant Director, Nicola Pollard and actor Joe Mott shall be keeping you up to date with all the goings on… read on as we prepare for the final Lazarus production of 2013!
Today we started rehearsals for the Merchant of Venice yet much like Antonio’s ships we were delayed by the storms. If we didn’t have enough to do in 11 days of rehearsal, losing a morning to the weather certainly lights a fire beneath you. I always get nervous before a first rehearsals, either I think I haven’t done enough prep or I don’t know my lines etc. but 10 mins in you are reminded that everyone is in the same boat as you but they are all eager to create which is the best you can ask for so early on.
I’m still nervous but for different reasons now. I’m a control freak and I have to know who I am, where I am, what I’m playing, what his past is and everything about him. My school used to scream at me for doing it. They said I never allowed myself “permission to play” which I can totally agree with. So throughout our morning session I had a thousand questions to ask Ricky but I knew that there were no answers for me at this stage. But I’m alright with that I think. I trust the company and I trust Ricky. Which is handy because his ideas and the path he wants to explore is either going to lead us to an incredible production or into theatrical exile! But we can only wait and see. It’s a beautiful and scary thing to be standing on the edge of a production but you have to take the leap of faith with two feet if you want to thrive. I have to trust that the answers will come. And I have to accept that they may not be the answers that I expect or want.
Today’s storm may have felled a crane on the roof of the Cabinet Office, but come hell or high water our company were going to make it to the Brockley Jack! When a dishevelled cast had eventually gathered, our designer, Richard, showed us the model of the set. The idea is brilliant, and really exciting – if not a little daunting for the cast. You’ll see what we mean come show time! Kelli, our costume designer, demonstrated how to make a young actor a very happy chap – give him a three piece suit, with flared trousers of course! Finally, we discovered that if you start exploring and discussing images of nature versus artificial you will end up at a Shakespeare quote, whether you wanted to or not. In the words of Mr Dukes, ‘marv’.