Day 4 and we are tearing the text apart, analyzing it and getting into Shakespeare’s head like it’s nobody’s business. It seems the Archbishop of Canterbury was a chatty fella indeed and has mammoth speeches that we were breaking down and digesting, making them more appetizing.
Now, our actors tried to play a magic trick on us today. They did an exercise where, as a group, they had to go from a normal walking speed to slowing down completely without us noticing. This was all about listening to each other and getting that sense of working as a group – after all if you’re out in battle, listening and knowing where your soldiers are is a matter of life and death.
After lunch we had presentations by the actors concerning the different themes in the play. It was a somewhat traumatic experience as some of our actors took the immersive theatre approach to showing us what it’s like for women in the army. Part of this involved ten burpies and holding the plank position, which is never a good idea after lunch. Apart from learning how sadistic our innocent looking actors can be we also learnt some pretty shocking facts. I didn’t know that the UK is one of the few western countries that don’t allow women to fight in the front line. As you can imagine with a cast of eleven female actresses there was a lot of passion and opinion about women in relation to war and politics. There was so much furore in the room the light bulbs actually exploded. That or the fuse box needs checking, either way it was a dramatic ending to the day. Tomorrow we will have our first run-through of this epic. The energy will be high and it might be more than just the light bulbs that explode.