Last night we did table work for Richard III. That is to say instead of rehearsing specific scenes, those present engaged in conversation about their characters, themes of certain scenes, and various other odds and ends pertaining to the production. Not everyone was there, but those that were had some useful insights.
The director agreed with most of the vision I had for Buckingham. I mentioned some of those ideas in a previous entry, but in short I want to play him as someone who is clever, eloquent, ambitious to a degree, but desirous to be as far from court life as he can get. He is the real estate agent who wants to sell the biggest house possible, and then collect the commission for same and retire to his lands in the country. Or something to the effect. The point being, he may be somewhat fascinated by Richard and his ambition, but isn't enamored. He simply sees Richard as one who could clean up some of the lingering mess, and more importantly as someone who would reward him handsomely for aided him in his unlikely question to gain the throne.
Buckingham, in my version of him, is a chess player. He moves this piece to block that one. He uses deception. Subterfuge. Once in a while a direct attack, (but not often). All in an effort to capture the "king" as it were, no pun intended this time. The pieces in this game are real people. People that sometimes end up dead. But to Buckingham, that is the price one pays for playing the high stakes game of war and royal intrigue. (A game he himself loses at one point, of course.)
Discussing such things with the director not only gave credence to where I wanted to go, but also brought to mind some questions I have yet to answer about Buckingham. Questions that are important to my own performance, even if not revealed directly to the audience. I believe that an actor must sometimes have secrets in order for his decisions to have as much of an impact on his performance. It is for this reason that I won't share here some of the questions I need to resolve in my mind about this character. In time, however, I feel I will reveal at least some of them, once I come to some decisions.
In other production news, one of the actresses with a tiny role had to quit the show. This is a little disappointing, as I like her personally, having worked with her before. But such things happen of course.
Regular rehearsal tonight, as far as I understand, which this early means blocking for the most part, I would gather.