Week 3 BLOG
Another week gone and it’s time for my update from the Twelfth Night rehearsal room. The room by the way is amazing, possibly the best rehearsal space I've worked in. We’re on the top floor of some rehearsal studios in East London with big windows, so great views across the city. It’s an uplifting, energizing place to be, which is good because we've been putting in the hours this week. Singing (with ukuleles!), lots of movement sessions and text sessions (with the Globe’s text specialist Giles Block) have been scheduled into our days, and of course we've been cracking on with the scene work with director Bill.
As we get deeper into the play and our characters I'm struck by both how funny and how sad the play is. Most of the characters are lost or have lost something. Viola, Sebastian and Olivia have all recently lost family members and their grief, (expressed in very different ways) hangs over the play. Other characters are lost in the sense that they are delusional. Orsino’s love for Olivia is “as hungry as the sea”, but there is little sign he has ever spoken to Olivia, and of course she has no intention of ever returning his love. Many other characters pine after things they will never get: Malvolio longs to be treated as an equal by Olivia and as a superior by Sir Toby’s gang, his experience in the play is very different. My character, Sir Andrew, has come to Illyria on the promise that Olivia will be receptive to his charms but he is not even on the periphery of her attentions. He is full of fun but there is a sense that Toby and Andrew are drinking, eating, dancing and singing to forget, and to stave off the reality of lives that are not living up to their promise. Funny moments go hand in hand with the seriousness of the situations the characters are in.
My favourite moment in rehearsal this week came watching Olivia (played by Akiya Henry) breaking up the fight between Sebastian – or as she thinks Cesario – and Toby Belch. Bill Buckhurst mentioned that the language she uses, (“Ungracious wretch! Out of my sight!”) might suggest that she physically tries to break up the fight. Akyia took the note and when we ran the scene again she jumped on Toby’s back and then pummelled him with flat hands. A funny moment – Dickon who plays Toby is 6 foot 2, Akiya, not so big – but one that is justified by the passion of Olivia’s new found love that has hit her like an oncoming train. So all in all another great week.
Oh, I had a costume fitting too, which was very exciting, but I don’t want to give too much away… At the fitting I had a good chat with the designer Simon Kenny about Sir Andrew’s hair. There’s talk of hair dye for me in the next week or so. I think it’s the right look for Sir Andrew so I've agreed even though it will mean looking like a bit of a freak for a few weeks. Hey ho. Hopefully there’ll be a break in the schedule next week for a bit of hat shopping.
By Tom Davey [Sir Andrew Aguecheek]
NEW BRIEF AVAILABLE – Design the Set
A creative brief is given to each member of the creative team working on the project. It is intended to help them structure their ideas and keep a focus on the director's intended vision for the production.
The designer for Twelfth Night, Simon Kenny, has been asked to design a set for the production. To do this, he used a creative brief and talked with director Bill Buckhurst about what themes are important to him in this production.
Why not have a go at the creative brief and design your own set for Twelfth Night? To help inspire you, visit the Interviews page to hear some of Bill's ideas about the play and read designer Simon Kenny's top tips for designing a set below.
1. Work in whatever way you feel most comfortable using the techniques that work best for you – if you don’t enjoy drawing, spend more of your time making a model.
2. When starting a new design make a note of everything in the story. Use these to think about the world you are creating and consider how the set design can support the telling of the story.
3. Think about the relationship between the actors on stage and the audience, and importantly what their sight lines are - you don’t want to build something so huge half the audience can’t see the stage!
4. Leave things open to interpretation – once you have an idea don’t tell people exactly what you are doing but hint at certain themes and let people draw their own conclusions.
5. Don’t discount things because they seem big and impossible, there will always be some big and theatrical way of achieving your design.
Now download the 'Set Brief' and template of the Globe stage on the right. Once you are done email your creations to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we may feature it on the site.