King Lear - Week 2

Week 2: The Floor Fiend

We begin where we left off last week: a bit of table work to finish our textual analysis of King Lear, once again breaking down the final scenes and discussing our story (The share interpretation). The joy of making a play is you never really finish analysing it - especially Shakespeare, because once you put it on its feet it begins to walk… Another layer of analysis – “The geography means my character could hear exactly what they’re saying.”

“How does that change the scene?”

“Well with that information, my character becomes manipulative because they have knowledge of a situation and they use it to their advantage…”an example of the type of exchanges between actor and director. The possibilities that floor work produces always adds another dimension to the performance, the play, subtext and/or it creates a physical language; another way of communicating a characters thoughts, mood or action.

Action for us this week is to achieve as much of a physical story as possible and we have the right team to accomplish that. Jeannette Nelson, our Voice and Speech Coach, takes our actors through a series of warm ups and voice exercises to help them master their vocals and breathing. Kevin McCurdy, our Fight Director, has his hands full as he carefully devises combat sequences that actually include combat. Coral Messam, our Movement Director, drills our actors on 8th century customs and reverence, as respect and order (in the court) was imperative back then, and as for today… well let’s say it’s not easy to get the ancient movement into a modern day body, but it is realised!

We end the week with the same enthusiasm as we did last week, again great for morale having worked a good amount of the scenes on the floor sets us up for a positive Week 3. The floor fiend has its positives,  as actors begin to get the movement and intentions in to their bodies, giving them a non-verbal catalogue of communication. But it also has its flaws – achieve a lot in a short space of time and expectation will rise!

A Royal Exchange Theatre and Talawa Theatre Company co-production in association with Birmingham Repertory Theatre


1 April – 7 May Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

Audio-described performance: Saturday 30 April, 1.30pm
BSL performance: Wednesday 4 May, 7.00pm. Interpreter Jan Guest
Captioned performance: Friday 29 April, 7.00pm

19 May – 28 May Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Captioned Performance: Saturday 28 May, 2.00pm
BSL Interpreted Performance: Friday 27 May 7.30pm. Interpreter Mary Connell

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