Sunday, February 1, 2009

Playing a Queen and Seeing the King

Another week at the Globe; gone and it is nearly over! In less than a week (Friday to be exact) we have our grand finale; our showcase on the Globe stage. I am very excited about the performance however… (Yes, I am afraid there is a ‘however’.) However, as of now we are expecting a wintery mix of rain and snow with some seriously cold night air on Friday. Did I mention there is no roof on the Globe? Yes. No roof. And yes, the show will go on, as is Globe tradition. This past Saturday we took the work out of the rehearsal studio and ran our scene on the stage for the first time. It was wonderful to be out there but man, was it cold! I tried the scene in costume which unfortunately is not a sweater and earmuffs. It’s a thin short dress (not a period costume, obviously). The one benefit is that my character, Queen Hermione, is about eight months pregnant in the scene so, my belly was very warm due to the pregnant padding. I will be thinking hard this week about what to do to stay warm during the show. If you have any suggestions please let me know! Chattering teeth might not work with Shakespeare’s poetry.

The Globe has been absolutely amazing. Some of our RSAMD faculty came to visit us on Wednesday. We were trying to express our feelings to them and found it very difficult to find the words. One way I described this experience was to call it a pilgrimage. As actors of the new millennium, we have been blessed to come to this sacred place and connect with the incredibly rich and powerful history of our craft. None of us have ever experienced anything like it. We still have plenty of road ahead of us on our artistic paths but this time at the Globe will take us to another level on our journey.

In entertainment news: Today I saw Disney’s The Lion King in the West End. It was a fantastic show! The stage production was derived from the animated film of the same name. The show included all of the songs from the movie, much of Hans Zimmer’s score and new music written especially for the live production. The music and the voices were a delight. But the design of the show alone was worth the price of admission. Julie Taymor is the genius behind the stage version of The Lion King. She serves as director, costume designer and as one of the puppet designers. The use of costume and puppetry is choreographed into the actors’ movement and delivery. It was glorious story telling using the aforementioned elements in fresh and exciting ways I have never seen before. The opening number was phenomenal. A zoo of animals made their way across the pride lands of Africa to Pride Rock where they honored the new born lion cub prince Simba. Elephants, giraffes, zebras, birds, and many more came gliding through the theatre and on to the stage while Circle of Life was being chorused by the company. It was breathtaking. Oh just go see it!

Saturday night many of my classmates and I caught RSAMD alum James McAvoy on stage in a play called Three Days of Rain. It was a well done piece. Set in NYC, I felt the three UK actors in the show all had convincing American accents. The play itself was an example of quality writing. Richard Greenberg penned the script. Act one focused on the adult children of two deceased business partners. Act two took us back in time and showed us said business partners and the woman between them. Our student priced group tickets got us seats quite near the rafters of the theatre but, it was still worth going. If you are in London and you don’t want to go to Africa maybe New York is more your cup of tea. Good play. Good actors. Good night of theatre.

Okay, enough of the reviews. Next week I’ll be the one reviewed (well, by my professors anyway). I’ll let you know how it goes!
Be well!

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