This week you can see more photos taken from one of the performances of The Merchant of Venice. You can also see an exclusive video interview with author and reviewer Susan Elkin on how to review a play. Take a look at our final brief for this week: how to review a play. If you have already seen our production of The Merchant of Venice, or you are planning to attend, why not have a go at reviewing the play and send us your review.
Week 7 Images
© SGT/Ellie Kurttz 2014
Ognen [Shylock]. © SGT/Ellie Kurttz 2014
Tyler [Prince of Morocco]. © SGT/Ellie Kurttz 2014
Thomas [Prince of Aragon]. © SGT/Ellie Kurttz 2014
Catherine [Portia]. © SGT/Ellie Kurttz 2014
Christopher as the Duke. © SGT / Ellie Kurttz 2014
© SGT / Ellie Kurttz 2014
Week 7 Blog
Friday 21st March
Our penultimate week had just come to a close. Audiences have been as boisterous and energetic as ever, and the London skies have continued to be good to us. My weather forecast formula has been tried and tested, results were as estimated. Sunny and warm=engaged happy audiences, cold and grey= distracted and harder to win audiences. I am waiting for my Nobel Prize.
Now that we have become more relaxed with the production and our audience, I wanted to talk a bit about what goes on behind the scenes during the show. If you have seen the production you will know that some of the actors do costume changes at the speed of light. This is all down to Michelle and Elaine our wonderful wardrobe managers. They spend the show poised at the costume rail, ready to dress. Think of the fairy godmother in Cinderella; we spin, they do the magic. One of the most amusing changes to watch is Launcelot Gobbo’s transformation from scruffy servant to fancy/flash servant after Bassanio gives him money for a new outfit. In literally a matter of seconds, Mark finds himself dressed head to toe in gold Lycra. There is a trick to this. Mark is wearing most of his gold outfit under his first costume. He runs offstage and his clothes are ripped off revealing his sparkling new get-up. A golden hoodie and a hat are added, he grabs his golden scooter, and he is gone again. Honestly, if you blink, you miss it.
We also have our cracking team of stage managers backstage with us. You will see all but one of them on stage at certain moments in the show. These ladies are brilliant and as integral as all of the actors on stage. They keep the show rolling, and they do it with a smile! They are responsible for piecing together the golden gondola, turning on/off the huge neon Venice sign, making the hot tub work, passing props to panicking actors, and catching props that are thrown at them, tying the thousands of masks we have handed out to the audience, and this list doesn’t even do them justice. There is so much more! The other day Katie appeared with several hot water bottles and blankets because it was a bit chilly! One of my favourite things that these ladies are responsible for are the letters and documents in the play. All of the letters and documents that are read by characters during the performance are hand made. Time and effort is taken to write the right words, and all of it is totally true to the story! It is such a small element of the show, but so much detail and effort has been put into it.
Here is the letter that my character Jessica receives from Lorenzo:
My darling Jessica,
I love you so much and hate having to spend so much time apart from you. This sneaking about is hard but the few moments I get to spend with you are worth it. Write to me as soon as you can to let me know when I get to see you next.
All my love,
I could write for hours about all the work that goes on behind the scenes, but I have to head in to begin our last week of performances. It has gone so quickly, and maybe because I was having too much fun. I will have to try and be serious this week to slow it down!
From Bethan backstage
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 write your own review for the production using our reviewing brief.