O for a muse of fire (Henry V)

A day off – aka a day of drinking tea and eating cake!

No Shakespeare today.  No commuting. No trains. 

Just nice things like sleeping in, baking banana bread, renewing my car tax (OK so that one isn’t nice but it needed doing) and listening to the cricket.  It’s a shame England couldn’t get the Windies out a bit cheaper and super sad for Strauss going for 1 when it seemed he may have just got his form back.  But it should make for an interesting final days’ play!

And I’ve had a chance to do a bit more work on my thesis performance piece which is good.  I’ve mainly had to do editing of the script.  For those of you who don’t know about this, let me fill you in… I’m currently researching the use of choreography as a theatrical device in Shakespeare’s plays, looking at ways in which Shakespeare included dance in his writing and how we might go about staging that today, as well as what effect it has on our understanding both of character and plot.  To help with my research, I’m staging some extracts of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, focusing on the scenes with the rude mechanicals (Bottom and his mates).

At the moment I’m editing the script to get it down to about 45 mins (if you’re interested, I’m staging sections of 1.2, 3.1, 4.1 and 5), ruthlessly cutting the four lovers so that it really is just Bottom’s story.  I’m also looking for actors and have had quite a lot of responses which is a good start!  I’m hoping to start rehearsals the week after next so will need to find time between all the Shakespeare to get myself organised.

The other project that I’m involved with at the moment is the Capital Plays Festival at the Mac, Birmingham

One of the elements of this festival is 5×5, a showcase of 5 site specific plays by 5 new playwrights from the University of Birmingham’s MPhil Playwriting course×5

I’m directing one of the plays: The Reality of Faith by Lucy Haywood, which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed.  We had our first full run through of all 5 plays on Thursday, which was a really exciting day as it was great to see the work of the other four playwrights and directors as well as to see the piece as a whole.  The plays were all written as site-specific piece so on Thursday we attempted to rehearse in similar spaces.  The Reality of Faith was written for the changing rooms at the Mac so we promptly round the nearest toilet cubicle to rehearse in!

It went really well; I’m really happy with the actors.  We have another rehearsal on Wednesday morning at the Mac so can iron out any problems then.  We certainly need to work a bit on varying the pace as it all became a bit rushed on Thursday.  But it’s a really exciting project to be a part of and I can’t wait for Thursday to see it performed.

Tomorrow I will try to get my Romeo and Juliet review written and then I’m back down to London to see Coriolanus in Japanese in the evening.  But for now, I’m going to make the most of the chance for an early night!   




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