Jim's Richard III Blog

What had started as a blog of Richard III rehearsal process at Cal Shakes has now evolved or devolved into a small novella. The author is petrified to change the name for fear it'll disappear, and wouldn't know what to call it anyway. Many stories are included and questions are even answered sometimes!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Thinking Out Loud

And now back to the Present.

I've wallowed in the mudpits of memory long enough and should for the sake of decorum at least blog something about my current rehearsal process. The scene? Second week of Tis Pity She's A Whore rehearsals at ACT.

We finished roughing out the first half of the show yesterday and after reaching the intermission break ran the entire first act--a crawl through if you will-- though the show, even with most of us still with script in hand, moves like a bullet.

This is when you get the first taste of what the finished production is going to be; a wavery outline of the beast, a sense of the chemistry at work between the actors and the arc of the piece as a whole. Going by what I saw yesterday I think this one's going to rock.

Carey has put together a fantastic cast, all with great instincts, all smart actors, and all hungry to make true choices--don't miss this one. And I'd forgotten what a great play it is!

As for myself, I'm struggling with Ricardetto and am going slowly--a little too slowly for Ms. P at times I think, but this is not a role that I instinctually hook into. Who is this man?

He's of very high status--the husband of Hippolita (also noble) who has come to the knowledge that his wife is having an affair with a young nobleman (Soranzo); urged on by his wife, he's taken a journey to Ligourne to get his niece and and while on the trip has died.

But he's not really dead.

He comes back, with niece in tow disguised as a Doctor of Medicine and sets up practice in Parma with no other purpose it seems than: "Now would I see with what an impudence she gives scope to her loose adultery and how the common voice allows hereof."

He's been watching her. Creepy. And he doesn't seem to have a definite plan of action until Grimaldi comes to him for a love potion so he can woo Annabella successfully; he tells Grimaldi he has no chance to win her love until a bar is first removed between them and that bar is? You guessed it--Soranzo. He's jumped on this chance in the moment and found a tool to remove someone who's publicly cuckolded him and tells Grimaldi he will provide a poison to eliminate his rival and Grimaldi agrees.

The man is burning inside; his first speech is full of sibilance, ess's and cee's and zee's abound--he may as well be hissing his words through his teeth--and yet while still on fire, he at least outwardly cares for his niece to see her married off to someone she loves. He seems to have many motives at once, many masks, and I'm as yet uncertain which he's wearing.

A toughie, this one.


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