Well, well, well, here we are.
Not really, I wish I could have a view like this! But I am sitting in my wonderful flat enjoying this view through my computer screen. That’s close enough, right? Both myself and my bank account were pretty pooped from our trip to Yorkshire, so nothing too crazy has happened this last week. I actually didn’t have class Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, but Wednesday was spent mostly realizing the fate of our country for the next four years. On Thursday I finally got sweet, sweet, redemption for my failure last class. Our scene (from Merry Wives of Windsor) went so well, and it felt so good to save this scene. Because of the recent election Ben wanted us to use character inspiration and substitution from some of our politicians in our scene. I will say that our scene became a bit more..uh.. passionate. I always forget that rarely in a comedy do the characters know they are in a comedy.Sure, there’s the philosophy that life is the “greatest comedy,” but you have to realize that these characters are living their own lives, not living for the playwright. Does that make sense? Although it’s much easier to just play the joke, sometimes a scene becomes much more passionate and serious because to that character it really is a big deal in that situation. Always so much fun to find new ways to perform a scene.
This weekend a dear friend of mine visited from Germany, so she had to rely on me as her London “expert.” I must admit that I did feel a small degree of pride and excitement as I showed her around this magnificent city. Luckily the weather wanted to show off as well, so we had mostly sunny and beautifully crisp weather all weekend. I’ve only been in London for a little over two months, but I’ve already begun to glaze over some of the more touristy attractions in London. It’s not that I block them out, per say, just kinda..forget about them. Luckily my friend wasn’t as interested in the touristy part of London, so I was happy to forgo the red bus tours. I took her to Camden Market, an Evensong service at St. Paul’s cathedral, and just wanted to walk around the city as much as possible to show her what it was like.
On Monday my Intro. to Theatre History class had a workshop at the Royal Court Theatre, which is where we saw Torn and Father Comes Home from the Wars (part 1&2 ). What I really admire about the Royal Court is their dedication to producing new works of theatre that are original and relevant to society. This workshop mainly focused on the theatre’s process of finding new works and how they decide which plays to produce. We were given three short plays that we had read previous to class.We each voted if we saw any value of further work on the play, or to just pass on it entirely. There was a spectrum of choices, but they ranged in those directions. We chose which of the three to workshop, which was actually my least favorite when I had just read through it. It had some very interesting subject material, but it’s execution seemed pretty weak. After some group work and new direction, I was pleasantly surprised by how malleable this story was. Each group brought a new concept and direction that made the script seem 100% better. It was like finding a dress that looks much better on the person rather than the hanger! It still wasn’t the most impressive script, but it was really cool to see how some work-shopping made it entirely different and much more exciting to watch. This Monday night we saw a Caryl Churchill play called Blue Heart at the Orange Tree theatre. Blue Heart is the over-arching title for two one-act plays, titled: Heart’s Desire and Blue Kettle. I have not uploaded a performance response to it yet because I am presenting on the play next week in our class. It was probably one of my favorite shows that we’ve seen thus far, although I must give thanks to my teacher Lee, who kept giving me pointers and tips to help understand the two shows.
In Stage Combat we returned to the rapier/ short sword choreography! No dagger this week, unfortunately, just the short sword. The rapier is such an elegant weapon, it almost feels too disgusting to actually kill someone with it. With a hefty broadsword or dagger, it feels more…natural, I guess, but the rapier is such a gentleman’s weapon. I think actors and fight choreographers of any level always have to remind themselves not to speed up too quickly. The temptation for flashy sword swishing is a hard thing to deny yourself, but it’ll look much better if you actually take the time to learn every move perfectly. Believe me, I have to remind myself constantly!
I hate to look at the calendar, because I realize that my time in London is quickly coming to an end- BUT HOW?! I’ve gotta explore more, soak it up, spread my wings! I wish I had the time and money to see every show this city has to offer, but I’m pretty sure I’d be suffering from some sort of trauma by the time I got home if I saw that many shows! Must enjoy this city while I can.