The Taming of the Shrew

Week by week

Week 2

This week the cast have been exploring how to use the space. They have also been adding music into the production. You can keep up to date with what is going on in rehearsals though our Assistant Director, Pieter, in our blog down below. We also show you a glimpse with some behind-the-scenes photos.

Why not visit the language page and take a closer look at some of the key scenes in the play? And don't forget to take part in our first creative brief and design a poster for the The Taming of the Shrew. Download the 'Concepts' document to see some unused poster ideas, and the final design!

Week 2 Blog

‘You counterfeit, you puppet, you!’

Monday

We’re into week 2 of rehearsals now and things are well underway. The company spent a little more time unpicking the text of the last few scenes of the play and were then ready to get up on their feet and start the process of blocking the play. ‘Blocking’ is basically working out the positioning and movement of the actors in any given scene. In a traditional proscenium arch theatre where the invisible fourth wall is employed to create a barrier between the actors and the audience, blocking is a very different process. At the Globe, the actors can see the audience. At the Globe, the actors speak directly to the audience. And as it’s pretty much theatre-in-the-round, the actors need to move an awful lot to make sure all the audience feel included in the play. This makes performances much more physical and exciting to watch. I guarantee you that this production of The Taming of the Shrew will be no different!

By Pieter Lawman (Assistant Director)

 

Tuesday

Alongside the blocking of the scenes, lots of other rehearsal is taking place. Various songs have been added to this production which need learning. Some of these songs may be very familiar to you when you come and see the show, so if the mood takes you – sing along! The company have been working closely with Olly, the composer on the show, to get the songs licked and at a later point in rehearsal the band will join. The songs will then be fully put together in the form that will appear onstage.

By Pieter Lawman (Assistant Director)

 

Wednesday

The jig is also slowly being choreographed. For those of you new to the Globe, you’re in for a treat. Every show that’s taken place on the Globe stage has ended with a jig. It’s a mashup of a dance and a curtain call. A chance for the actors to greet the audience and say ‘thanks for coming’. A replay in miniature of the action you have just seen play out before you. But above all, a celebration of the unifying nature of storytelling. Without the audience, the actors would have no one to tell their tale to; without the actors, the audience would just be sat (or stood) in front of an empty stage imagining a story in their minds eye. I love the jig and so do most audience members. Without realising it, you’ll find yourself clapping along, stamping your feet and cheering as the actors jump around in front of you.

By Pieter Lawman (Assistant Director)

 

Thursday

A couple of days ago the actors also had a crash course in puppetry with Lori Hopkins, the show’s puppetry consultant. Two puppets have been added to the production and the actors need to work carefully and sensitively to make sure they operate them properly. Lori’s session covered the main principles of puppetry – breath, focus and fixed point. Breath refers to the life of the puppet. Without breath, it’s just a dead inanimate object in the hands of an actor, but once it begins to breathe then we can believe that it lives. Focus is all about how the actor looks at the puppet. As soon as the actors break their connection of focus with the puppet and turns their attention elsewhere, we stop believing in the puppet. Fixed point is harder to describe. Picture yourself walking along a path. As soon as your foot touches the ground, that foot becomes the fixed point around which the rest of the body pivots. Until your other foot swings forward and touches the ground, taking over the role of the fixed point. This is a tricky technical skill to nail in puppetry but the company are already beginning to master it. Lori gave each of the actors the most basic puppet that there is to work with. A single sheet of newspaper. During the course of the afternoon the pieces of paper learned how to breathe, they became strange little creatures that explored the room, they joined together to become bigger creatures and eventually they turned into people. The company took it in turns to improvise scenes with these puppets to sometimes hilarious and sometimes disturbing effect. I’m a huge fan of puppetry. I won’t reveal to you the role that the puppets will be taking on in the production, I’d like them to suprise you when you watch the play, but I will say that they already have the potential to make you think a little deeper about what you’re watching, especially in some of the production’s more violent moments. 

By Pieter Lawman (Assistant Director)

 

Friday

Oh yes, and we’ve got beds. Massive great big beds. Tune in next week to find out more...

By Pieter Lawman (Assistant Director)

NEW BRIEF AVAILABLE – Design a Poster

A creative brief is given to each member of the creative team working on the project. It is intended to help them structure their ideas and keep a focus on the director's intended vision for the production.

Take a look at the some inspiration and unused design concepts from our designers Premm on the right. Why not try making your own posters for The Taming of the Shrew and send it to us at: youngcreatives@shakespearesglobe.com.