The Cockpit Theatre, Marylebone, London
3rd – 7th October 2017
This Autumn, William Shakespeare’s intricate play is brought to life by actors from Shake–Scene Shakespeare. Using the technique of ‘cue–script’ preparation the actors take to the stage without any prior group rehearsal with their fellow cast. Guided only by their character’s lines and immediate cue words, the performers embark on a gripping journey of discovery as actors enter the stage without knowing what scenario or whom they are about to face. The audience journeys with them as they step into the unknown and gamble moment to moment.
“There is a pleasure in witnessing performers on the edge” The Stage
Actors performing in Tudor playhouses during the Bard’s time used this method of performance. Today’s theatre goers will get to experience (as close to as possible) the revealing experience of an Elizabethan audience, while seeing a 21st Century production. During that time, audiences were known to pay double to see new plays performed for the first time and to witness these delightful moments of discovery and surprise. Certain aspects of casting however will be different, such as some traditionally male roles being played by female actors.
“It captivated” The Independent
The cast includes Charlotte Gallagher (The Judas Kiss, Duke of York’s Theatre), Jonathan McGarrity (The Full Monty national tour, Coronation Street) and Mary-Ann Cafferkey (Offie nomination for Proof at the Tabard Theatre).
Shake-Scene Shakespeare specialises in cue-scripted live performance, using a 16t century theatre practice to innovate theatre making. Lizzie Conrad Hughes, the creator and Artistic Director of Shake-Scene Shakespeare, has produced two previous cue-scripted plays: The Tempest in 2016 and The Two Gentleman of Verona in 2015. Both productions thrilled audiences, received critical acclaim and attracted academic interest. Lizzie has been teaching Shakespeare for 25 years alongside a career as an actress.
Viv Groskop (Writer, Comedian and BBC Radio 4 presenter) is a Patron of Shake-Scene Shakespeare. Having experienced first hand performing in a cue-script production she understands the process particularly well.
“Shake-scene Shakespeare is an experience, seen to be believed. Everyone on stage is there without a parachute, not knowing what’s coming next. I had no idea that this was how Shakespeare wrote: under huge pressure with barely enough time to rehearse. It makes so much sense when you see it: so much of the text is about the surprise of the actors finding out what’s going on at the same time as the audience. It brings a whole new level of understanding to Shakespeare”.
Viv has a two-part BBC R4 documentary on Russian comedy and Soviet satire.