Lovers and Liars

Lovers and Liars : A David Garrick Double Bill

Getting Started

Lauren Vereaux(Director)
Lauren Vereaux
(Director)

Week 2/3…

I wanted the early stages of rehearsal to involve research and development; to understand the script, as well as the social/political/cultural context surrounding the play. So with the help of our Dramaturgs, we have looked into various elements of the 18th Century from David Garrick and correct etiquette, to the original performance conditions and cast.

I believe a deeper knowledge of Miss in Her Teens will help the actors season their character development. In order to aide the actors further, I have been placing great emphasis on core actor training principles in our rehearsals. We have been studying- The Alexander Technique – How this method helps to ground, align antone our bodies, encouraging greater breathing patterns

– Lecoq – How states of tension affect our bodies and how we can use varying states to characterise roles, as well as shape each scene.

– Breathing and Resonance – How focusing on breathing techniques and voice exercises will expand our lung capacity and improve our delivery. For example: A deep breathe in for four counts, releasing a ‘SS’ sound at a constant intensity for as long as you can. The aim of the exercise is to improve upon your time of exhalation on every execution.

– Articulation – How practicing tongue twisters and delivery exercises, will loosen the jaw, tongue and lips and allow for a flexible, yet structured vocal ability and range.

I hope continuing these methods will put the actors in good stead for the performance and keep them in a professional shape. We moved onto analytic methods in Week 3, by looking at the text with a critical eye.  We examined the meaning of each line and what each scene was trying to show an audience. We used our research of farce, the 18th Century and Garrick to help inform our decisions.

I also managed an eventful trip to London to look through the National Theatre Costume Store and explore the Victoria and Albert Museum. The V&A had a great 18th Century collection exploring Rococo, Palladianism, fashion and etiquette.

Initial meetings with the design team to discuss concepts have been fruitful. I’m very keen on sticking to an 18th Century time period. For me theatre is an escapism and switching to an alternate world is both engaging and intriguing. I have read the script many times now and I do not feel the script lends itself to a modern interpretation. The script would need to be significantly reworked if so, I do not see our 18th Century stock characters translating very well into the 21st century.

V&A :http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/r/rococo-style,-room-53,-level-2

National Theatre Costume: http://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/costume-hire-stor

Finding Your Voice, By Barbara Houseman. 2002. London: Nick Hern Books.

Week 4…

We tackled the text physically for the first time this week, yet I was keen to not ‘block’ the actors on stage so early in the rehearsal process. To achieve this, I asked the actors to play a sequence of games, tailored to the scene and their characters:

1. The Power Game: When one actor feels their character has the power in the scene they stand up or sit down if they are lacking in power. Actors are able to play around with the speed at which they stand up or sit down.

2. The I need to be near you game.

3. The I must stay as far away from you as possible game

4. Playing with asides

5. Lecoq’s states of tension: Asking actors to conduct the scene in different states of tension to assess the effect and plotting various tension changes within a scene.

These games helped us to establish: how characters and scenes develop how character relationships vary in quality and strength, power struggles, how asides can be used to embrace an audience and how actors could conduct themselves onstage physically. Farce tends to play on tensions, letting them accumulate and leaving an audience on tenterhooks waiting for the breaking point. I wanted the actors to start thinking about what we are trying to achieve and what tools Garrick presents us with in the script.

Throughout this week I have continued my work on voice and movement…

-Yoga: How strengthening and toning the body will enable an awareness and increased malleability of movement on stage.

– Further work on breathing

– Voice specific exercises to release tension in the throat, mouth, lips and jaw e.g ‘Ng-Ah’ and ‘Hmm-Ah’

– Tongue twisters: To aide articulation.

Meetings with Ronan, our set designer have been very exciting this week! It was great to see sketches, colours, patterns and double doors (See the Design Blog). Lighting has produced some great research andinitial ideas, sound brief has gone down very well and Costume will be feeding back soon on exploring ‘Dress Circle’ in Haxby.

Bibliography:
Voice: http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2009/may/09/vocal-exercises-david-rebecca-carey

Yoga: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/yoga/poses/beginner-yoga-poses/

Finding Your Voice, By Barbara Houseman. 2002. London: Nick Hern Books.

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This entry was posted on February 26, 2013 by in DIRECTORS.
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