Merchant of Venice Rehearsals Day 7

Once again we donned our metaphorical galoshes today to wade through the dark and murky waters of “text work” it is hard going and you can sense that people are eager to get up and get stuck in to putting this beast of a play on it’s feet. Even with a contemporary text it is so hard (I find) to say lines naturally. From the first time you read a script you think to yourself “oh this is how I would say that.” Or “I think Mr. X would say this like that.” Which makes for rubbish, unnatural theatre. I am guilty of it and it has to be an active thing to avoid it. So when Ricky says “let’s try it again” I make a conscious effort to start in a different place, in the hope that I find something new. So it is nice watching people starting to make those choices of going a different path. Personally I feel myself struggling through text work because Balthazar doesn’t have much to say! That doesn’t take away from the importance of the character or his input to the story but it means I don’t have a lot of time to try new things! I like a nice run up before I jump in. I think I’m a bit method in that sense; I like to be under Balthy’s (or whoever’s) skin for a while otherwise I feel like I am still “acting” Obviously that will change when we are on our feet and the responsibility will fall to me to understand why he doesn’t speak that much and what he does when he isn’t speaking. 
I also find text work hard because it fascinates me so much! I could talk about it until the cows come home but we only have a week and a half of rehearsal time left so I have to hold back somewhat in order to have SOMETHING ready by previews. 
One thing I am extremely grateful to text work for is giving my feet a rest. Yesterday we marched on the spot for 4 hours. (The time might be slightly exaggerated) and I have a bister the size of a small moon (no exaggeration) on the ball of my heel. It’s a good sort of pain though. It’s proof of the work I guess, or Ricky’s sadism. 
In the words of Liam, today was ‘a lot of text work, but we are getting good at Chaos’. The latter being a game that demands concentration, focus and working together. Much like text work… We feel we broke the back of the play today, at least at this first level of exploration. As the cast become more familiar and comfortable with the play, they are trying out new ideas, bringing colour and life to the scenes. Today felt like an accumulation of previous text work, as we build on past discussions. In the words of Paul, ‘Good progression for a Tuesday’. 

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Filed under Rehearsals, Theatre

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