Last night we blocked the scene for Richard's coronation. This is a brief scene added by the director. I think it will add depth to the production. A good way to welcome the audience back from intermission.
Once completed, the scene will move right into the section where Buckingham fails Richard's little test about putting the Princes to death, and we ran that several times as well. I have a lot of work to do in that scene to get to where I want to be. I did, however, make some progress last night. Much of it had to do with the director's suggesting to speed up the entire scene. With less time to think about things now, Buckingham can be shocked and stymied. At a loss for words, even, which the director pointed out is not often the case for Buckingham. She is correct. Normally he is quite eloquent.
Another first for my version of Buckingham during this scene is at the end of it. Richard has just refused to give Buckingham the promised Dukedom of Hereford and has walked off. This leaves Buckingham alone to consider this betrayal/abandonment. All of his hopes for retiring in peace back to his home are over now. I allow him to express pure anger for the one and only time in the play. (I wanted to bang my fist into a nearby wall, but it seems that shook the wall too much for the director's liking.) Yet I have kept the yelling as a nice contrast to what we normally see from Buckingham in this production.
Hopefully it will be a stand out moment, because of its rarity. He isn't even yelling right before he is put to death. I have discussed this on the blog before. He is instead calm, and somewhat resigned to it. I presume all anger and despair that may have come with the destruction of his army has happened off stage. So he is somewhat calm, still disgusted, and in general, as I said, resigned. He comes to some realizations about karma during his speech, after embracing the irony of his dying on All Souls Day. Then with head held high, he marches off to his execution. Again, I have covered this in previous entries. Last night, however, during bonus time, I got to play with it a little more.
The actor playing "Ratcliff", (the character responsible for Buckingham's execution), was present. The director wanted to take some extra time to teach him the blocking for the brief scene that we had decided upon last week. So we ran that two or three times. I don't remember how many exactly. I'd still like to slow the speech down somewhat. I hope to allow Buckingham's realization to arrive and sink in as the audience watches. Again, he is perhaps resigned to his death already, but only at this time begins to see the potential justice in the universe. I want to convey this dawning on him, as well as his satisfaction with same. I am not there yet, though there is much time to work on it. I was able to perform the speech off book last night, however. My first bit of rehearsing without the script. I figured the sooner I could do that, the better the end product will be.
Which is true for all sections, of course. I'd estimate that I am just under 50% off book now, with just under two weeks to get totally off book. It is mostly my shorter scenes for which I am off book right now. I must soon tackle my largest scene of the play; it is the scene when Buckingham is pretending to convince Richard to accept the crown. I say a lot in that scene, and haven't yet begun to work it. I think I will begin this very day, or otherwise tomorrow. I usually like to be off book for an entire scene before moving to another, though this has not quite been the case this time. I'm a little nervous for this one, but then again I often am around this time. I will get it, even if I have to call for lines more often than I prefer to.
Rehearsal tonight at 6:00PM-a most distressing time to rehearse given my commute and the traffic. Actually the traffic problem I have all but solved but conceiving a back way to the theatre. It requires 45 minutes, however, so my evening is considerably longer than it otherwise would be. Yet if more work is getting done on the production as a whole, it is worth it.