And on-wards we go into week 2. Today the thing that really stood out for me, although it has popped up in previous days, but especially today in the sense of a revelation, is that I realise now the existence of preconceptions that people can have when coming to see theatre. But this is especially true with Shakespeare. The themes that are prevalent in this production, love and war to name but a few, can resonate with every single audience member. Shakespeare is writing about real people and real human situations, and so judgments about character’s motives and decisions are inevitable. There is, I guess, a worry in me that these preconceptions are beyond our control and that certain characters will be vilified before they even speak. I guess all we can do is be true to the text and try to change these notions. It’s good to see this being addressed in the rehearsal room, and no-one has taken the easy way of playing, and gone straight for the tropes, but instead we are unearthing the gems of truth beneath the assumptions and projections.
As Coriolanus, (I’m getting used to typing his name without messing it up) was in the spotlight again today, we took a look at some more images of inspiration relevant to the world of this play. The visuals go a long way in informing the minds-eye, for me at least, and help significantly in transporting one from a mere performance space, to the centre of a raging battlefield, right to the secrecy of a back room, all without leaving the space. The power of theatre!
It is often said that there is ‘wisdom in the group’. And if it isn’t, then it should be in regards to this group. CJ has alluded to it and I concur. Breaking down the text to such a level can be daunting, but its proving quite the fascinating experience, thanks to the wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm present.