On Monday 9th September we (Ashleigh, Janet, Amelia and Jade) went to the RSC in Stratford upon avon to start our journey with Next Generation Direct. We talked about our expectations on the drive to the RSC and we were excited, but nervous, about what the next 5 days would be about. We knew we would be meeting actors, directors and professionals from the RSC and we were very excited to do so.
We also knew that we would be working with a group of young people from Intermission Theatre and we had heard about how amazing they were from Leigh. He had spoken to us about Darren Raymond and the work they do with Shakespeare. We all knew how lucky we were to have this opportunity and we were going to try our best to learn as much as we could over the five days.
The day started in the Clore centre, where we had been before and it was like coming back home. Many of us have spent time in Stratford over the years and we love the place. We met Erica Whyman, Georgia White and Darren Raymond and we took part in a range of games to bring us all together. We then had the incredible opportunity to hear how Erica and Darren had started on their road to be directors. It was fascinating how the paths were very different but the views and opinions were exactly the same.
We explored what we thought the most important parts of creating a rehearsal room were and we created a breakdown of all our ideas. It was great to all talk about our ideas and feelings we seemed to draw together as a group very quickly.
In the afternoon we had a tour of the Swan and the RST and we were blown away by the spaces. The tour was unbelievable and it was so good to hear the stories from Darren who was part of the Tempest cast. We could not believe how many people worked at the RSC and how many lights and backstage equipment they have. We looked at the wigs, blood and all the other magical parts of theatre.
We then had the honour and privilege of spending time in Erica’s rehearsal room for Museum of Baghdad. This was an incredible experience. To see professional actors and a director working on a script was something we had not seen and we picked up so many tips. Just wow!
As we drove home at the end of the day Amelia made notes in the car about our day – have a look!
Things we learnt
We learnt that everyone has their own directing style – some are more accustomed to one style to another. Directing can be really personal, as personal as acting; directors can often project themselves into their work without noticing. It’s important to have a safe rehearsal space, as your cast have to be comfortable enough to push themselves and others if needed.
– The exercise with Erica
– Awkwardness, uncomfortable
– There’s a difference between silence of a performance and awkward silence
– Viewing yourself in your mind
– Consciousness of yourself, aware of breathing etc
– Rehearsal room – seeing how everything worked
– Meeting people with different experiences (Intermission)
– Backstage tour
– Inspiration from Erica- trying to make a difference even on a small audience
– Working in the spaces
Where do we want this to go?
- Reflection on projects/things we’ve done
- Opportunities to work with the RSC/NextGen Act cast
- Watch more work
- One to ones/QnA’s with directors/cast
- Press nights
- Watch each other’s pieces