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The Director

First thoughts

Knowing that I have a specific audience, of fourteen and fifteen year olds, definitely affects how I approach the production; it gives me a structure in which to think about the play.

 

There are two things that shape my thinking. The first is that this production is for a young audience, and so, it needs to be energetic and, most importantly, to look at the issues in the play that are relevant to that audience; what it is to be young and learning about who you are. The second is that the play will be performed in March, which inspires winter images. I then develop these ideas with Liz Cooke, the designer.

The Globe Theatre


I want to really get the audience involved in the show. The play is set in Leonato’s home and the entire Globe Theatre will represent his house, a house that just happens to have a thousand people inside! I want to use all of the levels of the theatre and I’ll be getting actors on ladders and having them talk across the yard. I want everyone in the audience to feel involved so that the people in the upper gallery don’t feel removed from the action.

The Script


Much Ado About Nothing is roughly three hours long. I want this production to be short and punchy. I have edited the script down to an hour and twenty minutes. I want to get to the core of the story. Having to cut so many lines means you lose some of the depth and colour of the play. The characters in this play are clever with words, they play with language. Removing some of their lines removes some of the essence of who they are. I have ten actors to tell the story of Much Ado About Nothing, so I have had to cut some characters and combined some. Borachio and Conrad from the script have been combined to become our Borachio. Ursula and Margaret from the script combine to become our Margaret.

Beginning Rehearsals


The first day of rehearsals is always busy. Everybody has to meet one another. Then we usually read through the script. I am hoping it can be read in about an hour; that will give us twenty minutes for action sequences and music. All the actors will need to be measured and
there will be initial costume fittings. Choosing costumes helps actors define their character. I will start the first actual rehearsal by looking at the story. So much of who the characters are comes out of what happens to them. We will also look at the different social status of characters and the relationships between them.