We still haven't got round to working on the scene where I wake up next to the dead body of Cloten - it's a tricky scene; it's so far-fetched an audience is likely to find it hilarious, and the audience also know that everything's alright because it's not Posthumous, it's Cloten, and he's the baddie who got his just desserts. But Imogen doesn't know that. For her the horror is real. Very real.
The only dead person I've seen was my dad; I saw him twice, the first time was literally as he was pronounced dead, the 2nd time was after his post-mortem when he was all dressed up at the undertakers.
When he was still warm in his bed I was cross with myself that I was too squeamish to give him a goodbye kiss. Even though he'd only just died, he wasn't there already, and I couldn't bring myself to touch him, other than to ruffle his hair.
I need to find a different response for Imogen in order to overcome that squeamishness and embrace my decapitated husband.
Imogen also says, " I hope I dream, for so I thought I was a cave-keeper and cook to honest creatures, but tis not so, tis but a bolt of nothing, shot at nothing."
After a brief respite with her brothers and Belarius, Imogen now realises she's all alone again, alone in the world, in the middle of nowhere. I need to find that desolation for her.
And last, and not least, I need the authentic horror of waking up next to a headless body. And for that, I braced myself and set about googling gory headless body photos on the net. Plenty available, unfortunately, and also available on a dodgey gore website, were the grainy videos of Al Quaida hostages, all having their heads hacked off with a knife whilst still alive.
It goes against all of my principles for the videos of these poor men to be available for public consumption. Yet I forced myself to watch. Words can't do credit to the utter horror.
To make matters worse, I read a pathologists evaluation of the videos, who surmised due to the physiology that the men were still consciously aware far further into the ordeal than one dares imagine. The abject horror of it has changed me. The inescapable realisation that albeit rare, such horror does exist amongst my fellow humans. Not only this, but the helplessness of being tied up, and blindfold, at the mercy of 6 or 7 disguised men speaking a foreign language. The desolation. The hopelessness.
Utterly different circumstances for Imogen. Yet her only hope, and love of her life has been slain (so she believes) - nothing matters any more. "I am nothing. Or if not, nothing to be were better."
actor, general alright person and tree-climber extraordinaire.