I love this character, and I love Shakespeare. Most of the time. But I have been spending much of my script studying time the last two evening working on the dullest, longest exposition speech in the entire play. I am still only about 2 thirds of the way through memorizing it. And even what I have memorized does not exactly flow off the tongue easily. Too much alliteration and weird syntax, even by the Bard's standards. Plus there is no poetry to it, and no power. It's just the Friar explaining to Juliet what the planned outcome is.
He mentioned how Juliet will sleep in "borrowed likeness of shrunk death" for "2 and 40 hours."
He might as well be describing the impact this speech will have on the audience.
Yet it is vital to know what is going on...(for those who do not already know.)
Thankfully our director has added something to it that will hopefully make it more appealing to sit through. (Though NOT more appealing to memorize or deliver.) That idea is to have the added characters of Fate and her various Minions pantomime the scene, in beautiful dance like movements, on the the other side of the stage while I deliver the speech. That is what we ran for the first time today.
I'd like to report on how it looks, but I never saw it, except out of the corner of my eye here and there. I am too busy delivering this lumbering oaf of a monologue. Plus, I do not have it memorized yet.
I have other scenes I must work on tomorrow in addition to this monster, though. Off book day is Friday. Plus I have one or two other long speeches. (Though one may be shortened.) I can do it by then, but I must really bare down.
We will be able to call for lines for a few days. (Or in this case, we have been instructed to call "prithee" when we need a line fed to us.) I imagine I will be doing quite a bit of "pritheeing" when I first try to do this long speech.
I suppose, however, it is a fair price to pay for all of the other intriguing things I will get to do in this character.
On that note the director asked me if I preferred a more traditional priest (not Friar) outfit, or a modernized jeans and t-shirt approach, with proper vestments added. I think both would work, but I opted for the traditional for now. I think it suits him, and I think I will look good in black. I won't mind if we change it though.
Possible informal rehearsal/meeting thing tomorrow. I very much desire to go, but know not if I can.