So there I was a little bit concerned about doing caricature, not being specific enough and our play being cheap. We've practically re-written The Government Inspector whilst at the same time remaining utterly truthful to the story. But with a theme of modernity, grotesqueness, the only way is Essex feel. Then coincidentally as I was reading Julie Walter's (my absolutely hero) Autobiography this really struck a chord:
"The lines of the speech were disjointed half-sentences and odd, disconnected, isolated words held together by a series of dots. We talked about Irene, who she was and what exactly the feeling was that propelled these words from her mouth. Again he said, 'I don't want you to learn it or to try to act it. I just want you to feel it.'And once I got that feeling, it was deep and powerful, something I have hankered after in numerous performances ever since. He led me respectfully and sensitively through the rehearsal and the lesson I learnt - that emotional honesty is what draws an audience to you; it is not something that you demonstrate on the outside but something that first comes from your core; and that this is true of every single part - has stayed with me and it is something I have tried to adhere to throughout my career."
And I realised that was it. My challenge in this play is to still be truthful and specific. As daft, grotesque, ridiculous and surreal as my character might be....I still have to find a truth in it.
Had a really useful voice session - these grotesque characters are sooooo uncentered. Did some belly, ribs and back breathing. We need to be able to find the grotesque shape of the character and then to put our own grounded centre in to make the character believable and to make the audience care. This will effectively give us 2 centres that we need to keep checking in with and re-setting constantly throughout the performance. This is useful, and good practice to get into regardless of how "far out" your character is.
So we've now finished up to Act 5, rehearsed the dumb show and running Act 1 again. It's coming...
actor, general alright person and tree-climber extraordinaire.