Today we offer a video tip to actors from Lindsay.
How do you prepare to perform Shakespeare?
Welcome to our video tip series. This week, let’s talk Shakespeare. Specifically, performing Shakespeare. Now, we here at Theatrefolk are huge advocates for performing, not sitting in a classroom reading (or trying to read) The Bard. And we’ve gone a long way, we’ve got Solo Speare, performing Shakespeare monologues, Scene Speare, Shakespeare scenes, and in those books we try to give as much help as possible for performing those pieces. There’s character questions, vocabulary help, acting hints – but, in the end, the work really does fall to the performer. So here’s our top three Shakespeare performing tips!
Number one: Understand what you’re saying. And if that means writing out all your lines in modern English, do so. It’s really obvious when an actor is parroting words they don’t understand. Number two: Don’t forget the physical side to your character. It’s easy to get lost in the language! Come up with a walk, a physical stance, a gesture – it’ll help your understanding and how you communicate the text. Number three: No British accents. One: It gets in the way. And, you know, Shakespeare wasn’t hoity-toity or high falutin’. In his day, his work was the entertainment of the common man. He was modern. Treat the work as modern, and make the performance come alive.
That’s my tip.