On With Character Development

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Bringing together a cast is like creating a family, it is at all times important to be assured that each member is happy and comfortable with the proceedings. That being said it is of course necessary for the director to have assumed a position of control. With the cast of Hamlet I couldn’t be luckier, a great sense of unity has been evident from our initial read through and the preceding rehearsals.

Our rehearsals have begun with character development exercises, of which we have already begun to see the benefits onstage. Through exercises such as hot seating and a ‘Hamlety’ twist on Stanislavski’s circles of attention the actors have achieved a sense of character biographies and are easily focused. Each can now effortlessly answer questions based on events before the play and during. Individual identities are also starting to manifest, for example, Horatio has confessed his heartbreak at the demise of Hamlet, expressing that it was his thought that as King, Hamlet would do great things; it has also come to our attention that Gertrude likes her eggs smooth … like her men.

It will be interesting to see as the rehearsal process continues how far the actors come with their development. I for one am most excited.

Act One has been moving on nicely over the first two weeks, and our venue space at Chale Church adds a nice touch of atmospheric ambience. Despite this traditional looking backdrop we have kept the time frame of our adaptation ambiguous.

This is due mainly to the fact that revenge and its consequences are dangerous in any historical period including our own.

Each actor who has entered the space has done so with great purpose and understanding of their motives, it’s great to see so much hard work being done while so much fun is being had – it certainly gives you a sense of relief and accomplishment.