Thursday, June 21, 2012

"The Deep Tragedian"

Last night at rehearsal we blocked most of my scenes in Act III. This is the longest, and most involved act of the play, and also happens to be the act in which I appear most often.

As is the case with most early rehearsals dedicated to blocking, there is little of interest to the outside world I can report. There was some talk of motivation here and there as we played around with one short scene. An abrupt exit provided by Shakespeare was rubbing several people a bit of the wrong way, the director included. Several ideas were discussed, and "Richard" and I at last decided that the exit, (which both of us make for a moment) is designed to give the two characters an excuse to go off and concoct a quick plan to trap the Lord Hastings. For moments later Hastings is sentenced to death on flimsy charges. It worked well on the night, and it is a motivation we will probably keep, unless something better presents itself.

Act III also includes the scene where Richard conspires with Buckingham to pretend he does not want the crown when it is offered to him. In it, Buckingham leads the Mayor and a group of citizens to Richard's home ostensibly to change Richard's mind on the matter. Buckingham, in his own words from an earlier scene must "counterfeit the deep tragedian", and play up an impassioned plea for the citizens to witness. It is my longest, and perhaps most energetic scene in the play.

It also requires Buckingham to call up to Richard from "below". The venue is a small one, and would not allow for a balcony, so I must stand somewhat in the house in order to accomplish this.

As a rule, I am not a great fan of performing from the house. It is a personal preference. Some actors love doing it. I avoid it when I can. Yet for this scene I must admit I understand the necessity. All other options would, frankly, look poor. Then there is the added effect of including the audience among the "citizens" as Richard and I speak to same. So I will have to be sure to project, as my back will be to the audience for a large portion of that important scene. (Though I may turn back and forth to them as I speak.)

I might try to post the rare picture on the blog to give you an idea of the performance space. I have never done that before.

Tonight is a shorter night for me. I arrive early, and we will block my only scene in Act IV. (When Buckingham doesn't go along with the murder of the princes in the tower.) A short but highly significant scene for my character. After that, I go home, as the other scenes on the docket don't involve Buckingham.

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