Shakespear Actor

The lecture-demonstration and the workshop have been conceived from the point of view of an actor, enabling the participants to acquire a different perspective on the practical application of the writing techniques of the period.

Extensive research into the working practices of the theatres of 16th and 17th century London as well as consultation with a number of the leading Shakespeare academics in British universities, combined with my experience as actor and director has given me a unique insight into the practical reasons why Shakespeare wrote as he did.

The use of "cue scripts" coupled with the fact that there was practically no time for rehearsal (in the modern sense) due to the heavy workload of presenting virtually a different play every day, put particular demands on the actors. They had to approach each performance with a scant knowledge of the play itself beyond their own lines. It follows then that all the information necessary to play a rôle must be contained within the individual actor's text. This was achieved by a series of codes for the actor structured into his text.

Using various examples drawn from the Shakespeare canon, the lecture-demonstration is an explanation of how these instructions are coded into the lines, with relation to the working practices of the playhouses, and the workshop gives the participants an opportunity to study a scene from the point of view of an actor in order to investigate the possibilities for themselves.

Colin David Reese

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