Today was text heavy. We played with the opening few scenes. I had a costume fitting. When I came back into the room, Jasperino and Diaphanta had hand-mics and the rehearsal space had descended into an early-modern spin on an episode of MTV’s Yo Momma, jokes about mothers were replaced with the pair’s sexually suggestive jousting from the text. It was rowdy, and great fun.
Continuing with the text work, and doing a wee bit of preliminary staging, I was struck with the reality of the mountain of asides. The sheer volume of them opened a world of abstract space within me and between the other actors and I in a way that felt peculiarly distinct from other classical pieces I’ve worked on. For the actor, time feels like it’s sort of always flexing in these aside-heavy scenes. Jazz. I’m fascinated to feel out these rhythms with my body, my fellow actors and eventually with our audiences. After lunch we shared some individual research. In a presentation from Colette and Jamie about the role of women in Early Modern Britain and beyond, I learnt that during childbirth back in the day, there was a rush to baptise babies that were about to die, to prevent them ending up in Limbo. I’m keen to know who else is in limbo. I’m not sure what image I had of the place before but now all I can imagine is nebulous space filled with infinite floating unbaptised babies.
Mylo McDonald (Alsemero)