Henry V week one

Over the next few weeks we shall be guiding you through our top secret rehearsal room in out rehearsal room blog. Leading the blog are assistant Directors, Ben Rogers and Camila Robinson and actor Louise Good field.
Each day a new entry will be made, charting the developments, the exploration and gossip all in the all-female HENRY V rehearsal room.

Good evening my fellow band of bloggers!! I would like to invite old friends, loyal followers, theatre enthusiasts, anonymous impartial observers, friends… romans, countrymen to the first week of rehearsals of Lazarus’s all female production of Henry V.

This is the first time I have worked with Lazarus and I shall let you in on a little secret – this is my first ever published blog too! (My usual ramblings normally stay hidden between the closed pages of a well thumbed notebook!)

What a week it has been! A wonderfully chosen railway arch (aptly named Arch 468) has been chosen as our rehearsal space and it couldn’t be more perfect. I remember vividly my first step onto the threshold being lost to the resounding rumbling sound of a train passing overhead. I instantly decided it was bombs being dropped off in the distance, as you do. I looked up and saw the barrel-like low ceiling and the word ‘barracks’ immediately popped into my head. Yes, I thought. This is home for the next three weeks and the perfect creative space to whip this rabble of women into a complicit band of soldiers.

This week has been one of questions rather than answers, delving deep into the world of Henry V. We have discussed war, religion, politics, modern warfare and the role that women can or have played in each of these. We have formulated opinions and then contradicted and stretched them in numerous directions. I feel a gradual confidence and empowerment growing within the group as we learn more about ourselves and eachother and this incredible journey that we have all begun to explore.

Week One had the ensemble of actors meet most of the creative team including the dramaturge, Sara Reimers, Stage Manager, Ina Berggren and the Company Photographer, Adam Trigg (who took some wonderful rehearsal photos on Wednesday!)

We have worked thoroughly through the first few scenes of the text. We have turned tables into forts, trench coats into cannons, we have moved to and been moved by music and images, played with space and speed, laughed a ridiculous amount, cried, and we have presented the most amazing interpretations of our research via puppetry, army drilling, who wants to be a millionaire and two priests dressed in bin bags and aluminium. (Give an actor a creative inch and they will take a mile!)

Despite the small amount of time we have been rehearsing, I feel something tangible beginning to creep up from the red square in the middle of our barracks and it is building momentum upon each new day. Ricky, our wonderful has some incredible ideas formulating and I cannot wait to share some of them with you as we find our way in the next two weeks of rehearsal.

I do hope you will join us in the fun and that I can offer an honest, amusing and interesting insight from beginning to end.

L.G – Over and Out x

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