Madness all around!Posted: Friday 24 February 2012
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!