Shakespeare is pretty hard stuff and so is comedy. Add the two together ….
So far, we’ve managed to block out the play and started working on individual scenes. As always, at these early stages, it’s like wading through treacle for everyone. Noses are still buried in scripts, nobody is yet sure of what they’re doing, where they’re meant to be standing and who they’re meant to be talking to but out of this ooze is slowly appearing the shape of the play. And it’s the younger members of our cast that are getting to grips with it quicker than the, shall I say, more experienced members (just sayin’!)
Unfortunately, some production ideas have already had to fall by the wayside due to budgetary and time restrictions. But sometimes, you know, necessity really is the mother of invention. On a recent visit to Chichester Festival Theatre to see all three Young Chekov productions in one day (a marathon!) I was acutely aware that no matter how much money you throw at a production if the basic premise and the acting aren’t up to scratch you still end up with a pretty ordinary show. (If any one is thinking of going to see the Young Chekov season just go to Platanov and forget the other two).
Money, as always, is a little tight, so we’re going to be begging, borrowing and, given half a chance, stealing to dress and furnish this production and perhaps you can help. We’re looking for old jackets, boots, braces, belts, bags, hats, trousers, waistcoats, grandad shirts, etc etc. The older the better. We’re also after old pots, pans, kettles, bellows, wooden handled saws, leather or canvas tool bags, bunting (lots) and false beards. I’m also after a first or second world war leather jerkin (perhaps a bit of a tall order). Think Victorian and Edwardian! If you can help, either contact me or the usual suspects.
A couple of things for your diary …
Maskers are staging Ben Elton’s Silly Cow from October 20th to 24th, Chameleons are putting on Dracula from 29th to 31st and Studio Theatre, Salisbury are currently showing Don’t Get Your Vicars in a Twist until the 24th. Please support our friends if you can.
Also for the Shakespeare fans … Michael Fassbender is in Macbeth (general cinema release), Cumberbatch is Hamlet (NT Live Encore) and Judi Dench will soon be appearing in Branagh’s Winter’s Tale (Screen Arts)