Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Malcolm in the...Works

Last week I went to the first two rehearsals for Macbeth. Due to some wild scheduling conflicts, I don't report to rehearsal again for another ten days. (Almost three weeks between rehearsals.) I don't think I've ever had that much time between rehearsals during a production ever before. But it does give me some time to work on things myself.

As to the rehearsals, I thought they'd just be blocking sessions, but we did some table work/discussion as well, and I'm happy to say that at this early stage, my overall take on Malcolm is in line with most of what the director had in mind. Actually it's probably more accurate to say the director allowed most of my choices so far, as per her usual approach to shows.

In short, the director wants this Malcolm to be seen as "cool." Not in a Fonzi way, but in fact in a way I've wanted to portray the character. That is to say, Malcolm is often a throw away character in a production of this play, portrayed quite often as a wimp, swept up in events he cannot understand. My hope was to play him as a more deliberate and eventually regal presence. Dignified, quiet most of the time, intelligent, sincere. Humble to Macbeth's ambitious. Reserved to Macbeth's passionate. The two characters share almost no stage time, but as the man who eventually replaces Macbeth in restores order to Scotland, I felt Malcolm should have notable contrasts in temperament and character.

After two table work sessions and some working of a scene here and there, I think this vision of the character will remain mostly intact for this production. There are many choices left to discuss, and an lot of work ahead, some of which may change a choice or two I've begun to make. But I've built the foundation, and that foundation seems sound for the nature of this production. I have much to work with that I like, and this pleases me.

I see the character as having improved or solidified during his flight to England after the murder of Duncan. I've not yet decided if the initial flight itself was the best thing to do, but I have determined that in all likelihood an already noble man evolves into his destiny while taking asylum in England. We don't see what Malcolm goes through in England, we only see the result. That will give me a great deal of creative freedom headed into the final scenes of the play, and I look forward to exploring that.

I don't intend to examine every line and report every discussion I have about the character here on the blog. Even those connected with the theatre are likely to find such a meticulous recounting of this process to be tedious. I do however plan to explore here not only what goes on at rehearsals, but also some of the things I come to think about my performance independent of actual rehearsals.

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