Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Five on Fire

So we ran through Act 5 last night, which the director wants to happen at a rapid pace. If last night's first ever run through of it as a whole is any indication, we're well on our way to meeting that goal.

There were several people missing, and in fact, two people had to quit the show. One mother and her son, who I only ever saw once, just couldn't make the timing work. Their roles have been covered, from what I understand.

Actually, I've not seen most of the people in this play since the table read at the start of it. It's compartmentalized in such a way that I'm not present for most scenes, and when I am present, it's usually with the same few people. This actually helps somewhat my interpretation of Malcolm as a sort of after thought, out of the spotlight, until his trip to England. Those aren't the best words to describe what I'm doing, but closest I can come for the moment. Put it another way, I can and have made use of my not being around many of the actors I don't know very often.

As for Act 5, it's mostly the battle of Dunsinane, wherein Macbeth is defeated and killed. The goal is to keep the scenes moving one on top of the other, in order to suggest the pressing forward of battle, and to suggest out numbers are in fact more than they are on stage. By this point, Malcolm is in charge of everything, and people are fleeing Macbeth all over the place. A sense of authority is to me among my top performance priorities in these scenes, for both obvious reasons and because of the fast pace which may not allow for as much nuance as some of the other scenes.

But it's also Malcolm's idea to cut down branches and to hide behind them, so his quick-thinking and strategizing is also on display. I consider Malcolm a strategist soldier, first and foremost, and his short lines declaring this idea is a prime example of that.

And of course he has the final speech of the play. Not a poetic speech, not especially memorable, but it is my longest, nonetheless, and it caps off not just the frantic Act 5, but the entire play, and I must be sure to deliver it in a way that matches the energy and tone of what came before it, while also serving notice, as it were, that Malcolm is now on the throne. Not as much emotional depth as his scene with Macduff in England, but still a chance for me to make my Malcolm something more than the usual flat plot device he seems to be in productions of this show. It's especially important to do this, as I'll not be seenin any combat, (though of course, he is involved, and if the director approves I may give him some kind of superficial wound as the act wears on, just to remind people that Malcolm is in the thick of things.

Long way to go, but a general semblance of the final product is beginning to take shape, and I look forward to seeing how the other scenes are going in the near future. (Soon, everyone will report more often to rehearsals at one time.)

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