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Rehearsal Room Blog

Join us as we explore enter The Changeling rehearsal room... Over the next few weeks cast and creative will be blogging daily sharing their experience of working as an ensemble, their research and staging this monumental play. 

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Bonjour. It was French Sceneing day today, Lazarus style. This was a new experience in a rehearsal process for me, and one that required me to dig deep. The boxing ring was back, and those not in a scene were either round its edges, a sort of rowdy rabble of onlookers, or stationed in ‘dictionary corner’ quick-fire cataloguing specific phrases that cropped up. Those in a scene had to deliver each part of thought with enough clarity for the rabble to successfully translate it into modern English, upon which they would parrot their translations back to the actor in a constant feedback loop of utter madness. Satisfied the rabble had understood, the actor in the scene could move on to their next thought. After each scene, like a true mad hatter’s tea party, everyone would change places, dancing round the room to pop bangers, ready to begin again.

The tone of the play quickly exploded into full-blown farce. As actors reached for airhorns, microphones, candlesticks, wigs and bongos to spell out moments for the rabble, thus naturalism shat its pants and died. In this absurdist realm, Alsemero emerged at points as a kind of Don Quixote esq. hero. The exercise continued the philosophy behind the 101 exercise mentioned on DAY 1. Once you have touched the boundaries of potential, you’re ready for anything when shit goes LIVE. I truly believe this. It reminds me of when I hear fighters interviewed saying that they weren’t nervous for the fight because training camp was crazier than the actual bout could possibly have been. It was by far the biggest test of stamina in the room yet. I found myself flagging when we came back after lunch, but I caught my second wind around the point where Tomazo starts getting all lairy about his dead brother.

A couple observations that struck me. Alsemero goes on a journey from stoic to emotionally volatile and back to stoic. In the middle of that transition to emotional volatility is a brief period of undoing. It is in this period where his farcical Don Quixote shadow-self lies. I do think he is a little ridiculous, and that the door to that shadow-self might remain open a tad. Can it be possible to retain the wink behind the eyes of our French-Sceneing version but within the appropriate boundaries of tone and genre? I think so.

The epilogue explains a lot about Alsemero, his philosophy on life. I had worried these touching final words might fall into the unfortunate category of ‘right message, wrong messenger’ and therefore be lost on audiences. But I should have more confidence. Who the hell is perfect, who doesn’t have skeletons rattling around in their creepy closet full of secret potions. Do I want to hear life lessons from someone who’s never fucked up? Probably not actually.

Final observations. Tomazo is the only sane one of them all. Jasperino doesn’t mourn the death of the woman he supposedly loves. When I mimed being Deflores riding Beatrice to the Mare Mortuum like a bucking bronco, it caught folk by surprise and we all laughed.


Mylo McDonald (Alsemero)



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I'm fucking knackered. But today was incredibly fruitful.

We've done the play from beginning to end, but with a twist.

We'd perform the scenes in the Boxing Ring of Dreams. If you weren't in the scene, you would be outside of the ring shouting the modern English translation of each thought back into the ring. The purpose is to see if you can communicate your lines to the audience. If we fail to provide a translation, you'd have to try and communicate it in a different way.

We also did a dance party to signal the entrances and exits.

Not only was it nice to see the play being done from front to back after all of the exploration we've done, the exercise helped clarify specific moments in the play. I.e., pinpointing the exact moment a decision is made, or when the beginnings of a certain character's plans start to come to fruition.

Things happen so quickly in this play. During a speech, a clock strikes one. Five parts of thoughts later, it strikes two. One hour goes by within five lines!?!?!?!?

Definitely having another early night tonight.


Miko Juan (Ensemble)


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We went through the play today doing something called a French Scene. I have never come across this before; and sadly we don't do the whole play in French. A french scene is going through entrances and exits, with other cast members confirming what is being said in modern English. Some thing's that stood out to me is the mention of Adam, Eve and the Snake. There is constant mention about it. Anyway, the exercise proved fruitful in understanding scenes and making it clearer for us - fruitful, apple, see what I did there!


Alex Bird (Alonzo)


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