Our Players are nearing the end of their rehearsal period and are getting ready to hit the road!
They are often asked how they handle learning the scripts for two shows, playing multiple characters and switching from drama to comedy (a very tall task indeed!)
Well, here’s what Felix and Ed had to say about their rehearsal time and dealing with challenges like these:
Felix: It’s been a huge 3 weeks rehearsing. 2 weeks to create Macbeth: Undone and now we are just finishing our first week of Midsummer Madness. And it is, madness. It’s so much fun creating different characters. Usually, as an actor, you’re creating one. But in Midsummer Madness we are playing clownish mechanicals, mythical creature like fairies, lovers and a few others that I won’t give away!
There is a fierce rivalry developing between Ed and myself. Every break we get the cricket bat and stumps come out in the rehearsal room and it’s on! I think Courtney (our stage manager) is worried about her laptop being cleaned up. Fair enough I guess. I’ll try keep you updated on the score. I think yesterday Ed won the day with great number. 2/48. I’m feeling good today though so stay posted.
Ed: Well, things haven’t slowed down. We’ve been cracking through a new play (Midsummer Madness), while trying to keep our other play (Macbeth: Undone) fresh in our minds, and there’s been the endless task of getting Felix out in rehearsal room cricket; bowling him around his legs, bowling him through the gate, beating him for pace, drawing the edge, intimidating him with the short ball – it’s all been on show in the Bell Shakespeare rehearsal room. When we do get down to work on Midsummer Madness, it’s on to the serious business of being funny. Comedy is a whole skill set to itself. It requires discipline, timing, accuracy and immense truth. If you’re looking for any advice on comedy, try Ron Marasco’s book: Notes to an Actor. It covers the principles of comedy as well as lots of other areas of acting. It’s very helpful. There’s a ton of other books out there too, but, like anything, it’s easier to read about then do! Here’s some comic advice I once heard: “if you can’t be funny, be fast, if you can’t be fast, get off”. See you soon (however briefly).
Stay tuned for more Playful stories!
*No Players were harmed in the making of this film.
Want a sneak peek into the rehearsal room?
Look no further!! See how Ed and Felix are preparing for the fight scene in Macbeth: Undone.
Stay tuned for more rehearsal insights.
Ed: What a first two weeks: sonnets, scenes, voice, movement, Shakespeare seminars, clowning, games, defensive driving, new people and rehearsal prep to name a few of our activities. Apparently it only gets busier from here… It’s going to be a big year. Looking forward to getting on the road to spread some Shakespeare love and, after our comedy workshop, getting distinctly funnier. See you all soon. Ed.
Matilda: Well what a first two weeks! The players got to meet all the Bell team and we started in on voice, movement, comedy, Shakespeare’s life and times, dissected some of his sonnets, worked with John Bell on scenes, did a reading of The School For Wives and generally had a pretty awesome time!
Some things I have been thinking about this week:
1. How much fun it is working with all the players and how exciting it is that we get to spend a whole year PLAYING together.
2. How fast your brain needs to move when doing physical comedy. It’s all multi-tasking as Scotty says.
3. How compact and brilliant sonnets are: like little bite sized plays.
4. How brilliant Shakespeare was with his inventiveness of language and how he makes it so much easier for actors with Iambic Pentameter mirroring our very heart beat.
5. How important it is to tackle Shakespeare up on your feet and saying it aloud… as much as his language is something to be studied in an English class it’s still a PLAY to be performed!
Where to next?
We start in on rehearsing the school’s shows next week which is great! We are armed with a new voice warm up and physical warm up and have been honing our language skills, our clowning and our singing in preparation. Team H dives in to Midsummer Madness come Monday and I CANNOT WAIT! Till next time. Matilda
Keep tuned for some more tales from The Players…
Bell Shakespeare is very excited to introduce The Players for 2012.
Meet: Julia, Anthony, Matilda, Huw, Ed, Suzanne, Felix, and becuase she couldn’t get enough last year, Teresa is back!
They have had a busy 2 weeks at Bell HQ learning about all things Shakespeare. Here’s a little of what they had to say…
Felix: Hey guys! So, we have made it to the end of the first two weeks of work here at Bell Shakespeare as part of The Players and it has been awesome. We’ve been working hard on workshop techniques and learning loads of games which are gonna be great fun to play all over the country. Last Friday we went and did an advanced driving course. They actually let a bunch of zany actors behind the wheel of 4 Kia Carnivals, hosed down the pavement and let us drive in at 70 km per hour the brakes on as hard as we possibly could. Good fun. Looking forward to rehearsals starting Monday for Macbeth: Undone and Midsummer Madness. Till next time. Felix
Suzanne: What a whirl-wind first two weeks of The Players! Stand out moments = taking out the cones on both sides of the lane with the KIA, as I swerved out of control on a corner during our driving training at Eastern Creek (you can rest assured I won’t be driving fast enough on tour to make that happen again – SCAREEEEEY!); scenework and sonnets with John Bell – lots of fun; and smashing my shin into a ladder and ending up with a big bump and an almighty bruise during Scottie Witt’s comedy masterclass – OUCH! Oh the thing’s I do to get a laugh!!
All in all, it’s been a great couple of weeks – really excited to be working with the other Players – they’re a great bunch and the rest of the Bell team are lovely too! It looks like it’s shaping up to be a great year already – now to get into the rehearsal room….bring it on!
Keep tuned to hear about some more rehearsal adventures!