Part I The Beginning: why not pick a play you can blame it on?
Updated: Jun 28
We start the year as we have always done, with four plays on the table. Jo, our director, has picked
the options beforehand, already thinking about ideas of what we can do with it, and the group gets
the final vote on what we will play. Among the options are some of Shakespeare’s most famous
plays: Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth and Twelfth Night. The public knowledge of the play that we choose will be important for us down the road, as we are doing something we have never done
before: we are going to create our own meta-play revolving around an existing Shakespeare play.
The idea is to show some of the ins and outs of setting a play, and at the same time it gives us the opportunity to deal with the restrictions that are set upon us by the 2020 pandemic, like working with a smaller cast. But first we have to select a play to work with. Jo asks us what we know about these four plays and we get a few minutes to scramble what we can recall before we get to do a short improvisation of the whole storyline of each of the plays. We agree upon Macbeth. There are some practical reasons for this, as it is a short and relatively simple play with the least amount of uncuttable characters. There are also some relevant reasons, such as the handwashing scene of Lady Macbeth which aligns nicely with our current situation. And there are some story beat reasons: when
everything in the world seems to go wrong, why not pick a play you can blame it on?
We spend the next weeks getting to know the play better. Normally, this is where we would choose some interesting scenes from the play while Jo prepares the final adaptation that we’ll use.
But this year we have a different plan. We read the whole play, discuss which scenes we absolutely
have to keep and brainstorm about what we can build our meta-play on. Themes, motives and the
meaning of long-lost words get discussed as we try to get a deeper understanding of Shakespeare’s
Part two of the blog will be posted wednesday the 23rd of June. Stay tuned!