Join behind the scenes work on text and character with Bill Alexander ( 14 years Associate Director at #RSC, #BirminghamRep then freelance and now our #AssociateDirector ) and newcomer Lena Robin as #Portia.
Featuring film of rehearsal footage, accompanying notes and Q & A.
On November 19th and 26th 2020 at 7pm UK time.
Essential viewing for directors and actors alike, as well as anyone interested in performing or just getting to know the plays in more depth. Bill has adapted the play for a new six-character version A Merchant of Venice which our company is planning to stage in London next year. The fact that this rehearsal takes place online adds an extra dimension and chance for reflection on how theatre professionals can still work together in unprecedented times.
Bill Alexander - "Good and truthful acting makes an audience glad to be alive, more sure of who they are and deeply grateful for the gift of live theatre. The Lord Chamberlain’s Men (Shakespeare's company) had to close their theatre and cease performing many times due to the plague. If that should happen permanently in our own time, then part of what it means to be human will be lost too.
"Acting is a unique and uniquely brave form of creativity in that it calls on a human being to give themselves completely and honestly to a room full of strangers while producing the alchemical transformation of becoming someone else. The director's job is to protect, guide, challenge and encourage the fullest possible realisation of this transformation, which is not easy but, if successful, brings into being a miraculous encounter unparalleled in any other type of art."
Mary Chater, co-founder of Shakespeare in Italy - “Not since the 1980s when John Barton’s legendary ‘Playing Shakespeare’ sessions enthralled television audiences, have contemporary viewers been offered such rare insight into how an experienced director builds trust with a company, enabling them to explore text and character.”