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Crimson Tempest

Crimson Tempest. What do you see? What do you know?

Perhaps you know it appears in Shakespeare’s play The Tragedy of Richard 2nd.
What makes a play?

We interrupt this blog for promotional purposes.

Our primary purpose of this post selling tickets to a production of Henry V at Tanner St.
3rd August: GALA Night.
4th-5th August:
50% discount for Students, Equity members, Seniors and Unemployed;
they use the code word concession when booking online.

Now back to our regular posting.

Delivery of text continues to be a deciding factor in good Shakespeare.
What does that take? Too forced and you lose. The Shakespeare voice appears.
Too disconnected from physicality and you lose. The Shakespeare voice wins.
Too. Many. Pauses. The Shakespeare voice bores.

Text is physicality. The smallest unit of sound, the phoneme, requires effort.
There is a literal physical journey of the words on the page arriving on the stage.

The punctuation dictates the shape of the thought. Thoughts contribute to ideas.
Our ensemble uses the First Folio text, double checks with any available Quartos,
triple checks with modern editions and returns to the text as given.
Questioning everything; whether it be spelling, italicisation, or capitalisation.
Accept and or reject based on exploration and expediency of the characters.

Our own cherished thoughts and ideas aren’t infallible.
Linguistic and literary scholar, Jonathan Hope helped us explore 72 linguistic features
about where Henry V sits in relation to the entire corpus of 544 extant Early Modern plays.
Then in relation to the corpus of Shakespeare’s 38 (!) Tragedies, Comedies and Histories.

The mind steering them contributes more to their acceptance.
Dr Hope teased us with a Scottish 20 pound bet whether we could guess
Shakespeare’s most average play? funniest scene?
Examining the sets of data lead some in one direction, others in another.
Opinion divided us all.

The casting of a production selects the guiding individual actor minds.
The crossroads of physicality and thought employs the actors skills.
Our Ben excels in choosing an ensemble. Script analysis is a tool we use.
Character exploration happens unspoken with stick work.
Sub-text arises from interaction.

Being wrong never feels good. Being judged less so. Justification follows.
Justification of one’s deeds, regrets, things we shouldeva wouldeva couldeva done,
all occur after the fact.

We did what we did, (Hilton, Katrina and myself had to leave)
and do what we do (Colin Hurley joined in, Matt Mellalieu picked up my roles).

Tomorrow night from 3rd to 5th August my band of brothers and sisters
perform at Tanner Street Studios. Tickets are still available.
Go experience a rich vein of Shakespearean work being mined.
Else all that remains are words, words, words. And you can simply read those:

Poster for Tanner Street 3rd-5th August 2015

Poster for Tanner Street
3rd-5th August 2015

And the production is cut to David Crystal on Henry V in OP 2 hours traffic of the stage.
And these actors have learned their lines by heart within two weeks.
And there are some textual additions from the earlier plays in the 1st tetralogy.

Thanks to Patrick Spottiswoode from Globe education.
Also Clare and our two minders, Aidan and Alice.
Plus the staff at the concession stand for making our Americanos,
showing that London is as international as it ever was.

BTW the answers to the bet questions are Hamlet,
and the buck basket scene from Merry Wives of Windsor.

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