Week by Week

Week 3

Rehearsals continue into week 3, recently the cast have been focusing on specific scenes and have had their first run through of the entire play. Listen to interviews with the cast by visiting the character pages.

At the end of week 2 the cast also went to fittings for their costumes. Watch a video with the costume supervisor Laura below, and also see photos from the wardrobe department where the costumes are being made. Why not have a go at designing your own costumes for this production with our creative brief? Click 'Read More' in the box on the right.

Week 3 Images

Some of the costumes for Merchant of Venice are being made by hand in the Wardrobe Department.

Some of the costumes for Merchant of Venice are being made by hand in the Wardrobe Department.

When a costume has to be made rather than bought, the pieces are all created separately and labelled before being sewn together.

Clothing tags for the costumes with the actors name and their character.

The various costumes being collected for the production.

The cast warming up for session. © SGT/Ellie Kurttz 2014

The cast doing movement work. © SGT/Ellie Kurttz 2014

Ognan [Shylock] rehearsing. © SGT/Ellie Kurttz 2014

Rehearsing Act 2 scene 6. © SGT/Ellie Kurttz 2014

Racheal [Nerissa] in rehearsals. © SGT/Ellie Kurttz 2014

Cast in masks. © SGT/Ellie Kurttz 2014

Georgina [Choreographer] working with Ognan [Shylock]. © SGT/Ellie Kurttz 2014

Rehearsing Act 2 scene 6. © SGT/Ellie Kurttz 2014

Bill [Director] watching progress. © SGT/Ellie Kurttz 2014

Christopher [Duke/Old Gobbo/Tubal] working with Georgia [Choreographer]. © SGT/Ellie Kurttz 2014

Ognan [Shylock] during rehearsals. © SGT/Ellie Kurttz 2014

Ognan [Shylock] and Bill [Director]. © SGT/Ellie Kurttz 2014

Cameron [Antonio] rehearsing. © SGT/Ellie Kurttz 2014

Bethan [Jessica] with Cameron [Antonio] and Nick [Bassanio] © SGT/Ellie Kurttz 2014

Week 3 Blog

Friday 21st February

3 weeks down. The results of last Monday’s photo shoot are all over the World Wide Web, and we even had a photo in Tuesday’s Evening Standard! Don’t let the glitz and glamour fool you. Behind the beautifully airbrushed images you find a rehearsal room of sweaty, tracky cladded actors, drilling lines and choreography like they have been sucked into a Rocky montage.

Cue the music.

And Shimmy! Well maybe less of the Rocky, more of the Rihanna. Georgina has had us shaking quite literally everything in the carnival scene, in which my character Jessica runs away from home with Lorenzo. Tyler Fayose (Lorenzo) was in his element, huge grin on his face, thrusting around on a golden gondola that glides across the stage. The girls are going to love it.  

We havn’t JUST been shimmying though! Bill has really been pushing us with the text this week. We all know our lines now, so we have been able to get the scenes up on their feet and really play around with it. Bill has been emphasisng how important it is to obey the verse that Shakespeare has written. When Shakespeare writes in verse, he generally only allows 10 or 11 syllables per line. That doesn’t mean that a thought only lasts for 10 syllables, sometimes a whole thought, or a sentence will span over 30 syllables! What Bill has been asking us to do, is to take a breath at the end of every line, and never in the middle of one.

Sounds really weird doesn’t it? But it makes total sense. If you listen to your friends having a conversation, they will almost always take a breath in the middle of their thought. It is that tiny moment that allows us to choose our words, or to really drive home what we are about to say. Try eavesdropping in on some people talking, and listen out for when they breathe. A lot of the time it is in a strange place, but it is this that makes us sound spontaneous!

Here is a speech I have been working on. It is one of Jessica’s speeches to Launcelot. Try breathing at the end of every line and see what happens.

But fare thee well, there is a ducat for thee,
And, Launcelot, soon at supper shalt thou see
Lorenzo, who is thy new master’s guest;
Give him this letter. Do it Secretly.

I find that only breathing at the end of every line makes it sounds like Jessica is only just coming up with these words. It also sounds urgent, like her dad could walk in any second! By taking these tiny breaths where Shakespeare asked us to, we can sound like real people living in the moment, instead of like actors who have pre learnt the lines. It also gives us actors a clue to how our character is feeling!

We had a few more fittings this week, and I can reveal that I will be wearing a school uniform for the first half of the play! I then get to throw on my disguise for the escape- boy jeans, plaid shirt, jacket and a beanie. I really do look like a boy, and a trendy one too. By the time I arrive at Portia’s house I will have slipped into an extremely brightly coloured mini dress and a leather jacket! Quite a variety! I’ve heard that Tyler will be wearing a suit in a very unusual colour, and Mark (Launcelot) will be blinged out from head to toe in gold!

From Bethan in the rehearsal room.

Creative Brief


A creative brief is given to each member of the creative team working on the project. It is intended to help them structure their ideas and keep a focus on the director's intended vision for the production. Why not be creative yourself and design your own costume for the production using our costume brief...


Read More