Lovers and Liars

Lovers and Liars : A David Garrick Double Bill

Performing and Creating an Early Modern Farce


Chris Palmer(AD)

Chris Palmer
(Assistant Director)

Highlighting, emphasising and perfecting comedy is a major challenge in farce. Over the last two weeks our group have begun the process of bringing out the true depth of the comical potential in Miss in Her Teens.

The week started with a presentation from the Dramaturgs, detailing the origins of farce and how it has been adapted over the years. Understanding the origin of farce is an important part of the development process. In particular, the presentation highlighted how the stock characters in Miss in Her Teens lend themselves to Commedia dell’arte, which was helpful for the actors when they were exploring their characters.

Over the last week, the rehearsals have consisted of exploring individual scenes. By calling small groups in one at a time, both the Director and I were able to work closely with each actor. In the rehearsals we focused on:

  • The relationships between characters
  • The variation of tone and emphasis of each line
  • Internal and External feelings of each character
  • The delivery of asides

Whilst focusing on these aspects was extremely helpful for the play in general, it also helped to develop the specific comedic elements. Working on each line individually by exploring different tones and emphasis, highlighted comic potential in lines that didn’t initially contain an obvious joke. However, in some cases the funniest way of delivering a line often did not fit with the character or with the scene.

In conjunction, we also worked on developing the asides. Asides are very useful and full of comic potential as they allow the audience to understand what the character’s internal feelings are, without it interfering with the play. In rehearsals we practised the technique of delivering a snappy aside, which as a result developed our characters and the comedy of the piece.

Over the next few weeks the group will be developing the more physical side of the comedy as the set is now ready to be marked out in rehearsals.


Wright, John. (2006.) Why is that so funny? : a practical exploration of physical comedy. London: Nick Hern,

Rudlin, John. (1994) Commedia dell’arte : an actor’s handbook,  London ; New york : Routledge,


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