Monday, 25 June 2012

The speed of sound

Gradually coming off book, as we are, we're now in that slightly disconcerting hinterland between reading and acting. Finding our way into the flow of the text, the situation and the emotions, it's tricky to suddenly find oneself brought up against a virtual brick wall by the sudden departure of the lines which seemed so firmly embedded when trying them out in the car on the way to rehearsal.

This, in turn, has obviously an effect on the pace of the piece; and, as I've mentioned in an earlier post, the tendency to 'drawl' - and hence slow down - the Yorkshire accent is another pitfall to avoid.

Working, as we were tonight, on the latter part of Act II - which is fraught with tension, suspicion and discovery - Genevieve asked us to 'speed run' the lines, whether with or without script. What was interesting was that (for me, anyway) deliberately cranking up the speed actually felt as though it brought my delivery closer to the pace (and energy) that I should be achieving in any case. It also started to become clear that - without interrupting one's fellow performers - there are times when 'line overlap' is more appropriate, and natural - and the more agitated the three couples become, the less likely they are to stand upon polite conversational ceremony.

Hmm. Back to the script. And to having my (real) husband test me for lines while I'm doing something else, such as ironing or preparing an evening meal. If I can perform those tasks efficiently and safely while delivering the correct thought-processes of Maria, I'm likely to be on course. There may, of course, be the odd culinary or laundry hiccup in the meanwhile...

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