Monthly Archives: October 2014

Henry V Rehearsals Day 9

Well that is it, we are now officially over half way into our rehearsal period!

We started off nice and lightly with the complete history of genealogy from Phillip III to James I. To do this, we created a family tree on the floor, with a single piece of paper given to each person. The complexities of relationships and knowledge of who was related to who and who fought with who, is so important in order for us to understand particular references in the play. We have to remember that these references are actual historical events involving real people and this affects Henry V’s decisions in the play considerably. Additionally, there is no way on earth that the audience are going to understand the relationships between the characters or references to previous monarchs and important figures if we don’t! In fact, the reason why there was so much instability and suspicion within the royal blood line is because it was so confusing and anyone could twist their own genealogy to suit themselves. At any moment your faithful cousin, brother, or even uncle could turn on you and issue you a 100 page document on why they are the rightful heir to the throne and declare war on you there and then. (Or pay someone else to assassinate you!)

After digesting this weighty information, we got stuck in to working with the text again. We began with the ‘Once more unto the breach speech’. Firstly, before definite staging and concept decisions can be made, the most important thing is to work out what the play is actually about. So without giving too much away, as the scene was naturally progressing, it was taking a very different shape to how most other productions and film adaptations of the play have delivered it. For this production however, it seemed to fit perfectly for our Henry V, the journey that she has been on so far and her approach to leadership. Maybe tomorrow we will completely scrap it and go back to the safety of tradition but for now the possibilities are endless and I will be intrigued if it does go ahead, how our audiences and staunch Henry V fans will take it.

Today we also met with our costume designer Rachel Dingle! Using photographs, she showed us just how wearing clothes in different ways can completely affect how an actor stands, where their weight sits and in turn, how their character comes across on stage. Ultimately, the main purpose of our costumes are practicality and survival. These women are at war and to quote, ‘when the blast of war blows in our ears’ you don’t have time to pick a uniform or protective gear that fits well or looks nice, most of these women would have had to strip the clothes off of the mens backs and get stuck in. There is no time to do your hair, who is thinking about their hair when the person looking back at you wants you dead?

On that happy note we then ploughed straight into a scene that really hits home the realities of war. Soldiers are fighting amongst themselves and are beginning to question what they are doing this for, mistakes in their strategy arise and knowledge comes in thick and fast of all the wounded and deceased soldiers. This particular scene feels to us, the most contemporary scene in the play and is a stark contrast from the talk of honour, glory, victory and God’s will that we have witnessed in earlier parts of the play.
There were also some brilliant ideas for scene transitions today – who knew so much could be achieved with a table! I am getting rather attached to these inanimate objects – maybe I need to get out more.

I can’t believe we are almost at the end of the second week! If you haven’t got tickets already then please see the link below to book tickets, it would be wonderful to have you!

http://www.waterlooeast.co.uk/

L.G

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October 31st Photo of the Day

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Henry V Rehearsal photo taken by Adam Trigg
Waterloo East Theatre 11th to 29th November, 2014.

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Meet the cast – Elena Voce

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1) What’s your name and where do you come from and who do you play?
My name is Elena Voce, I am originally from Cambridge and I will be playing the Archbishop of Canterbury and the King of France

2) What is your most memorable / exciting theatrical experience?
When I was 16 I went to see Kathryn Hunter in a production of Yerma at the Arcola theatre. She was spellbinding. It was then that I realised the effect that theatre could have on you, me, THE WORLD. Her yearning was so palpable and the immersive qualities of the performance swamped you in a hot and oppressive, Mediterranean past.

3) Who is your biggest theatrical hero / icon?
Kathryn Hunter. She is a stunning transformative performer.

4) What are you most excited about in being part of our all-female Henry V?
Uncovering what it means for it to be an entirely female choice to raise war.

5) What should an audience expect from Henry V?
Bravery.

6) Some say Henry V is all about games, war games, sport games, board games, what’s your favorite game and why?
Charades. One time my brother and I, to the horror of my dad, began a very intense game in a Chinese restaurant. Things got spicy.

charades

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October 30th Photo of the Day

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Henry V Rehearsal photo taken by Adam Trigg
Waterloo East Theatre 11th to 29th November, 2014.

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Henry V Rehearsals Day 8

We had an interesting array of balls, boardrooms and bananas in our rehearsal room today.
The ball exercise made its way into our warmup, waking up our actors with a sharp demand for focus. How long could we keep the ball in the air without it touching the floor? It looked a bit like a mad game of volleyball. But this was no game. This was war. Well not quite, but there was a present determination in the room to beat the last score of 66. Maybe it was too early in the day but we couldn’t seem to reach double digits higher than 12. Would Lazarus theatre company ever beat their highest score? Would we ever achieve that glory again?
Well it doesnt matter right now because the youth of England are on fire and we have a country to conquer. However before we took one more step clever Henry disposed of her pesky traitors, one who admitted it wasn’t even the money that seduced her into conspiring against her, she just wanted Henry dead. Sorry Hal.
With her brilliant imagery the Chorus took us all the way to France. Here we have a boardroom with an indecisive French King, a spoilt Dauphin and frustrated advisors. We are thinking of having the Dauphin chomping on a royal banana, showing complete disregard to the panic in the room, and in a moody ‘Lets just kill the bastards!’ strop. As arrogant and tempramental as he may seem perhaps he has a point, “Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin As self-neglecting”. Maybe there is more to this little Prince than meets the eye.
There is one last juicy bit of gossip I’m bursting to tell you but its a treat I really shouldn’t spoil. Can you keep a secret? No, I didn’t think so. Lets just say we are going to have a blast from the past. Oh yea, you heard it first here.
Oh and good news, we reached 72 in the ball exercize. Thats all from me now.
CR

Well I definitely spoke too soon with the weather worshipping yesterday!!

Although, the dark foreboding clouds and clipping cold aptly framed our exploration of the text today. Especially in the ‘traitor scene’, where Harry and Exeter sentence three English traitors for treason who are seduced by the French for various reasons, to kill the King before he embarks from Southampton to France. As well as this, we delved into the relationships between The Dauphin, The King of France, The Constable of France and Exeter. What better way to do this with some table lounging, a big dollop of petulance from the Dauphin, some sinister words of warning from Exeter and of course some intense banana peeling. (All will become clear I promise!)

We also picked apart the chorus speech, where our very own Tewkesbury asks us to lend our thoughts and imaginations in what little space we have, to the magnitude and awe-inspiring embarkation of Henry’s fleet to Harfleur. This is the first time for me, that I really began to see such a vision in my minds eye. The might and majesty of it, even of the whole play and just how epic it is, how much is truly at stake for everyone. I tried to liken this to something tangible and more recent so that I could really get a sense of the magnitude. The Invasion of Normandy (D-Day) came to my mind and if you really want to get a sense of of the scale then search in google ‘The Battle of Normandy’ and look at the pictures, it’s unfathomable.

The buzzes of excitement and enjoyment increase in number every day from watching my fellow actors play, as we see certain character subtleties emerge as confidence and knowledge grows. Certain pieces of the puzzle are beginning to slot into place, and I can see this powerful, engaging, thought-provoking and sometimes wonderfully bonkers production emerging.

I am also pleased to announce that the flyers for the show have arrived! They look great and I have issued a carrier pigeon to go forth and fill every empty space, table, wall and notice board with our propaganda!! (…I mean flyers). Also if you do spot one of our flyers then please do note that the performance actually starts at 7:30 and not 7. (This is what happens when you rely on technology and not man power!) Although at least everyone will be nice and punctual! Otherwise it will be 50 press ups and 3 laps round the auditorium!

L.G – At Ease.

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Meet the Cast – Rehanna MacDonald

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1) What’s your name and where do you come from and who do you play?
I’m Rehanna. I’m from Glasgow and I’m playing the Dauphin, Macmorris and the bishop of Ely.

2) What is your most memorable / exciting theatrical experience?
I recently saw Hamlet back home in Glasgow at the Citz. They opened the wings. Had the actors playing all sorts of instruments. I was just really engaged for the whole play which was rather lovely seeing as it’s the longest one! The drowning scene was in a steel looking bathtub with a single purple light shining down on Ophelia. The whole thing looked beautiful. 

3) Who is your biggest theatrical hero / icon?
I love David Grieg.

4) What are you most excited about in being part of our all-female Henry V?
I’ve never been in a cast of 10 women so I’m looking forward to the unknown.

5) What should an audience expect from Henry V?
Balls.

6) Some say Henry V is all about games, war games, sport games, board games, what’s your favorite game and why?
Monopoly. Pretending I’m rich.

monopoly1

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October 29th Photo of the Day

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Henry V Rehearsal photo taken by Adam Trigg
Waterloo East Theatre 11th to 29th November, 2014.

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