Entries tagged with “Rehearsal”.


Joel L. Schindlbeck again… So, I’ve been working with the Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company for over 10 years now and never have had a more difficult accent to master than what I’m currently learning.  I’m preparing the role of Sir Hugh Evans, the Welsh parson, for The Merry Wives of Windsor.  A dopey, good-natured, religious type (and appropriately genderless, as well) is no problem at all for me.  One of the first things I learned in professional theatre, is “know your type”. That’ll keep the bills paid a little easilier.

However, our little teddy-bear Evans here has a thick and pointedly South Welsh accent.  From the minor research I’ve done so far, that accent is perhaps one of the closest to a (no offence to the Welsh who read this) lazy, Midwestern American accent.  However, it’s the vowels and the sing-song nature throwing me off.  My text coach, Katherine Mayberry, is getting me a CD, and she’s always there to help me with my words in general, so I’m not too worried.  But still, it’s strange that a character can be so easily “type cast” and yet have to carry such a difficult accent.  But, it’s early in rehearsal, and I work better taking things step-by-step. So we’ll see about that…

In other news, I’m organizing all the costumes for the play.  We’ve chosen the Renaissance, and my sempsters (myself included) are up to our elbows in jacquard prints, chiffon, corduroy and velvet, velvet, velvet.

The citizens of Windsor are quite the vivid and amalgamated bunch, from tight-corseted matrons to disguised husbands. We’re building jerkins, doublets, hoses, bonnets, robes and dresses, all in brilliant earth tones, that will fill the space around them like a cloud of colour and history.  I think, my internet friends, that you are in store for a lush romp of tomfoolery!

This week we start some actor blogs from the cast of Henry V, which will open at the end of this month!

Hey folks! It’s Arielle Leverett here to share my experiences in Henry V so far. In this production I play an English boy, the French Princess’ maiden Alice, along with various English lords and soldiers. Now I have played young men before (Octavius Caesar was my quintessential little know-it-all emperor to be) so that part is not a big deal to me. The big road block be me is the fact that both the boy and Alice have scenes in French. Folks, I don’t know French. I studied Japanese for four years and quite frankly that doesn’t help.

The most terrifying thing about this was I actually had to do a cold reading, speaking French, for the audition. I’m pretty sure this was torture for everyone in the room. So a large part of my initial rehearsal process was learning how to say my lines. Luckily Katherine Mayberry, executive director and fellow cast member, is a French guru and she made a CD of my lines so I could listen to how it sounds everyday. The French is going well now. I have to say I really enjoy tricking people into thinking I know languages than I really don’t and thanks to Henry V I’m adding French to that list (boo ya!).

Aside from the sexy French I’m learning, I’m really enjoying my characters. The boy and Alice both engage in comic scenes which are a needed relief for this heavy war play. The boy is really interesting. He was originally Falstaff’s servant boy but when he dies the Boy has no choice but to go off to the war with Pistol, Nym, and Bardolf, the spunky ragamuffin trio that the boy can’t stand. I love how smart and morally sound the boy is despite his poor upbringing. I think living on the streets of London has made him resourceful. Also, being around losers like the trio has shown him the exact kind of person he doesn’t want to grow up to be. Plus I think it’s funny when the kid is the smartest one of the bunch.

My other larger role, Alice, is pretty great as well. First of all I’m happy I get to play a woman in the show, especially one who is apparently going to resemble a hot librarian. I love the dynamic between Alice and Princess Katherine. Sarah Stark (Katherine) and I have decided to make the two characters close like sisters. Of course Alice is older and worldlier which is why she knows some English. Though Katherine is Alice’s superior they have a relationship where their roles can be reversed. I decided Alice is pretty sassy and sometimes she has to catch herself when she gets snippy to people like King Henry. Anyway, this play is really fun and going very well so far. So go see Henry V so you can be smacked in the face with Shakespeare awesomeness (oh yeah, it happens). See you in August!

This week we hear from Morgan Springsteen, who is currently acting in The Tempest.

As is always true in life, for everything there must be a beginning, for each path a starting point.  My interest in theatre stretches back as far as I can remember.  However, I remember distinctly the first time I stepped onto a stage and decided, almost instantaneously, that acting was my passion.  This production of The Tempest marks another first for me.  This is my first time acting in one of Shakespeare’s plays.  It is an experience unlike anything I have ever had in many ways, some which I have found challenging, all of which I have found exciting.

Working with Pigeon Creek requires a level of self-management that I had not yet experienced working in educational theatre at Grand Valley.  A major reason for this is that this show was ensemble directed.  Ultimately, what we as actors choose to put on the stage is our choice.  However, we are dependent on the cast as a whole to make sure that everything looks cohesive and makes sense.  In order to be a functional and effective cog in the machine, you must be willing to take constructive criticism you’re your peers and not be afraid to give it out.  As a novice to Shakespearean acting, it was difficult at first to pipe up and give direction.  However, as my understanding of the process grew, so too did my confidence.

Another thing that sets this experience apart is that I am playing multiple small roles, on top of understudying the role of Ariel.  Trying to flesh out the characters of a salty mouthed sailor (the Boatswain), an eager and optimistic lord in the company of the king (Adrian), and a rainbow goddess at the marriage of Ferdinand and Miranda (Iris) requires a keen sense of contrast.  It has been fun finding the nuances of each character and discovering what makes each one stand out from the others.

On top of these three parts, it has been an added challenge to keep track and learn all of the things Ariel is in charge of throughout the play.  I am still working to find the balance between following the character Kate has fleshed out and still allowing room for my own interpretation.  I am excited to tackle the role in a few weeks when we head to Toledo, and I only hope my performance lives up to Kate’s.

This truly has been a hugely valuable experience.  I’m sure I will find myself comparing this production with new theatre experiences as they come along.  I am so glad I got to work with this amazing group of people and put together a show that I not only feel much attached to, but extremely proud of.

Actor Kat Hermes weighs in on The Tempest:

That comedy is harder to perform than tragedy is a pretty well-known theatrical adage. Whether or not it’s true, I think that comedy is certainly harder to rehearse than tragedy, as I discovered over the last month.

In Pigeon Creek’s production of The Tempest, which opened last night, I play two characters (and one unnamed dancing nymph). One is Gonzalo, a counsellor to the King of Naples, who is first presented to the audience as a figure of fun, mocked by Lords Sebastian and Antonio for his seemingly inexhaustible ability to see upside of dire events. He also, however, presents a utopian vision of island life in opposition to the colonial regime imposed by Prospero. He acts a sort of moral compass to which the actions of other characters are compared.

As a young woman playing an old man, I was concerned with finding a physicality that would convey my character’s age without over-emphasizing it to the point that it became more about watching Kat pretend to be old than about watching the character. I also worked to make sure that I was equally committed both the ridiculousness of the character (his commitment to social decorum, even on the deck of a sinking ship, his immediate, unreasoning embrace of every new spectacle the island puts before him) and the wisdom. I wanted the audience to laugh at Gonzalo when the play encourages them to, but also be able to take seriously his thematically important speeches.

The other character I play is Trinculo, the fool, and this is where the “comedy is harder to rehearse than tragedy” theory becomes important. While playing Gonzalo mostly involved figuring out what they text was asking me to do and committing to doing it, much of what makes the “clown” scenes between Trinculo, Stephano, and Caliban funny is the physical comedy that punctuates the line.

Some of the physical action is discernible from embedded stage directions. When both Stephano and Caliban refer to Trinculo’s “trembling” and “shaking” it is pretty clear what I need to be doing. Apart from those select moments where what I have to be doing is written into the other characters’ lines, I was pretty much on my own. With the help of the rest of the ensemble, I came up with several “bits” for each of my scenes, and then…

Well, and then, we rehearsed. So I played to a room of people who already knew exactly was I was going to do, had seen me do it several times. Eventually, as we moved from scene work into full runs of the show, I played to empty chairs. I found that I had no idea if what I was doing “worked” (i.e. if it was funny). Just as having an audience hang on your every word and gesture is a great theatrical high, giving your all to a room full of people who stopped laughing at what you’re doing a week ago is a great breeder of insecurity.

So, in conclusion, you should all come and see The Tempest, either at the Dog Story this weekend our at one of our other venues throughout the summer, and laugh at me. Because comedy is impossible without an audience.

Greetings new and continual followers of The Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company and our informative blog, Chris S. Teller here, I am playing the roles of Caliban and Sebastian in our upcoming production of The Tempest. I really want to touch on two major elements that really intertwine during our particular rehearsal process, and they are topics that previous entries have touched on; they are movement and the ensemble direction.

To start the The Tempest is a very mystical piece as one may have gathered from possibly reading the play or from my fellow actor’s previous entries.  This ideal of magic has really created a focus in rehearsal on movement for not only individuals like me portraying a monster, or Kate giving Ariel specialized moves, but from the entire cast; which in turn has really in a way created a whole new level of demand in the ensemble direction.  It is one thing to be able to give notes to another actor on perhaps vocalization or textual information, but we all now have to examine and watch everyone’s movements.  Without giving away too much of what we are working on (which is really awesome) there are scenes where we have to react and move as one group, or be individually overcome by Ariel or Prospero’s spells.  This is all done in order to ultimately create magical conventions to spark our audience’s imagination, bringing them into the world with us.

One example I can give, and pardon me for being vague as to not spoil the beauty of the scene or the hard work that the actors have put in, but there is a scene we all were just not quite convinced was working in terms of movement.  One of the characters is being led around by the magic of another “invisible” character, and one day it finally clicked.  By simply changing the movement style of one of the characters, it completely changed the believability of the power and invisibility of the other character.  It was one of those moments that the ensemble could relish because at that point we had all established a new way of doing something as a group, and would incorporate it into other scenes that required this “invisibility.”

This moment touches on the major challenge that can come up for an ensemble directed scene, and that to a point the group has to agree on every convention we create to establish continuity of the play.  This democratic agreement amongst the cast at times can require, what seems to be long and arduous discussion, but pays off to be very useful to the production’s imagery as a whole.

I hope that you all come out and see the work that this ensemble has put together as a team, in which we have created a truly magical world, with some surprises at the end that require the audience’s imagination to take control.

Elle Lucksted weighs in on the role of Miranda:

Shakespeare himself wrote, “Say as you think and speak it from your souls,” (King Henry VI). The Tempest’s Miranda, fifteen-year-old daughter of Prospero, exudes a complete innocence that perfectly exemplifies this philosophy. Miranda was “thrust from Milan” (Tempest, V:i) at the age of three, and has lived twelve years in seclusion with her father and the spirits that inhabit the island. The free-spiritedness of her youth left her without a social filter, and without a sense of shame. When she speaks and acts, it is with the liberty of a child.

An essential component of Miranda’s character is the fact that she has never seen another human being besides herself and her father…unless we’re counting Caliban—the island’s fish-monster—as a half ;) Hers is a purity untouched by the cruelty of the mortal world.  She has no ready exposure to its cruel elements: murder, deception, or throne usurpation (so she thinks, anyway).

As such, it might be easy to portray Miranda as a shell of a Disney princess—all fluff and no substance—but it would be a grievous character mistake to do so. Although she is young and ignorant of the world around her, her character is positively rich with dimension. In her first appearance to the audience, she is reacting to an event that triggers a chain of new experiences and emotions. She exhibits anger, sadness, horror, frustration, sorrow, confusion, anxiety, and relief in the space of one speech. She eventually grows to explore the realms of first love and a fascination with the “brave new world” (V:i) that unfolds before her.

The Tempest marks my fourth show with Pigeon Creek (after King Lear, Julius Caesar, and Pericles), and yet it is my first involving ensemble direction. While the common issue of receiving contradictory feedback exists because everyone’s opinion differs as to what works and what doesn’t, this “problem” actually serves as a sanction that generates a more substantial number of ideas and suggestions with which to experiment. I must add here that my “most-received note” involves remembering to play up Miranda’s youthful free spirit, and to tone down my own excessive stoicism…ha! It has been both challenging and enjoyable to work through a series of different possible reaction styles and tactics for each scene. In terms of this particular style, working alongside a group of such artistically gifted souls makes ensemble direction an absolute joy.

One element that I’ve always treasured about Pigeon Creek’s philosophy is that it makes our final product a shared effort. We create a show that is entirely our own—a product of collaborative creation—and it feels that much closer to our hearts because of it. We ourselves compose every outside element of the show. We are our own tech crew; props, costumes, and set design are our personal responsibilities. All songs and scripted noises within the show are created on stage or behind the curtain by our actors. Remember also to keep your eyes peeled during this production for tones of my choreography—a role that is new to me! I’ve loved the opportunity to create movement pieces for magical nymphs and fairies…a sort of visual interpretation of the creatures who represent“such stuff as dreams are made on.” (IV:i)

With just one week until our debut, we’ve certainly reached crunch-time! Rehearsals are flowing beautifully as we tighten our cue pick-ups and assemble musical pieces. Our masterpiece is looking much more whole, and we are excited to finally reveal our Shakespearean gem to the world! Thank you immensely for your temporary “indulgence” in reading. We so look forward to seeing you at our upcoming performances!

Hello again! Scott Lange here, we’re on to new projects and new discussions.  I’m here today to talk to you about The Tempest.  We just closed Hamlet on Sunday afternoon, but we started rehearsing this show a few weeks ago.  So we were doubled up on our Shakespeare for a bit.  This isn’t really new for us, but we haven’t had two shows overlap like this for quite a while.  Even with double the work, we didn’t have any casualties.

For this production I am playing the role of Antonio.  Antonio is the younger brother of the main character Prospero.  In events occurring before the action of the play, Prospero is Duke of Milan and loved by all of his subjects.  Antonio is a trusted advisor in the Milanese government, but becomes overwhelmed by greed, and steals Prospero’s dukedom.  Prospero and his baby daughter Miranda are cast out to sea, presumably to their death.  So essentially I’m playing the bad guy in this one.

I haven’t had the chance to play a villain in a few shows, so I’m excited to be getting back to it.  What I love in particular with Shakespeare’s villains, especially in his comedies, is that they are so unabashedly evil.  They love to steal, rape, and pillage; and are quite content to do such acts repeatedly.  It isn’t that they are simple characters, quite the opposite, but they just have so much fun being bad.

Antonio, throughout the play, has no remorse for what he’s done.  Not once does he ever repent, apologize, or beg forgiveness.  He even laughs in the face of danger.  Faced with spending the rest of his life on a deserted island, he mocks his companions.  Apparently he doesn’t care about living in an awkward situation.  It’s like an episode of survivor.  Even though he depends on the people he’s with to get along, he has no qualms about laughing in their faces.
The place I’m at in rehearsal right now, is trying to find different shades to his personality.  I think I’ve spent quite a bit of rehearsal time just making him a jerk.  But I need to spend more time examining what Antonio wants and thinks at each moment he’s on stage.  We’re rehearsing one of my character’s pivotal scenes in the coming days, and I plan on working quite a bit on really filling out the rest of the role.  I think I’ve got a handle on the basics, but I think Antonio bobs and weaves a bit more.  He’s blunt, but also crafty.  At this point it is all coming across too shallowly.  Fortunately I’ve got a few weeks to really hammer out a deep and complex villain; one that audiences will love to hate, and hate to love.  Come and see if I can do it.

This week, Kathleen Bode discusses playing Ariel in The Tempest.

For me, this week has been full of two thing; pushing my boundaries as an actor, and ibuprofen.

Ariel, much like Prospero, tells stories. The story of how the ship sank, the story of how he/she lead this group of people around the island, etc. But the way that Ariel tells stories needed to be very different from the way that Prospero tells them.

So I started with the fact that Ariel is a non-human character. So, how do you convey that to an audience? I needed to make it clear, visually, to the audience that Ariel is “other wordly”. There has to be a real distinction between how Ariel moves compared to how the human characters move.  Movement is not my forte, so I met with Katherine Mayberry (our producer) for some help with this. With her extensive dance training, Katherine would be able to help me better use my body to develop and present my character.

We started with some image work. I did some online research of animals, and brought a dozen or so pictures of different images that I found. Each of these images struck me, for different reasons, as ways that I could see Ariel. What surprised me most was that they were not all animals that fly. I started my research with birds, but only about half of the images I chose ended up being avian.

Once I had my images, Katherine had me replicate with my body each of the pictures I had chosen. From there, I began to use that image to produce a movement. How would an Arctic Skua move around the room? How about a Black Skimmer?

No one wants to feel like an idiot, and I was afraid of looking like one while doing these movement exercises, but I realized that if I didn’t make these choices big, bold – and confidently – then they would never read to an audience. They would look foolish because the audience would know that I felt foolish. But, using these images to create distinct and precise movements helped me to really embrace the sense of freedom that I found allowing myself to move in ways that are wholly unfamiliar to me. I found myself enjoying that freedom to move any (and every) part of my body.

Getting out of bed the next morning was a bit more challenging than usual for me. Having never been an athlete or dancer, my body was not used to those kinds of movement, and I had to pack a bottle of Ibuprofen along with my lunch that day!

This week, we shift gears from Hamlet to The Tempest, as our actors begin rehearsals for the first of our summer productions. Here Bill Iddings discusses the role of Prospero.

This summer, Christopher Plummer’s portrayal of Prospero in “The Tempest” will not compare with mine.

That probably speaks best for him.

Bill Iddings is the name.

Prospero’s the game.

I indeed am playing that role in Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company’s production of one of The Bard of Avon’s final plays.

Despite what I’ve read, I assume “The Tempest” won’t kill me.

Plummer also is taking a shot at the aging magician and exiled Duke of Milan, in Canada at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.
This past December, The New Yorker magazine quoted the renowned, 80-year-old actor as saying, “Prospero sounds like ‘Oh, he’s getting on now. I guess this must be his last role.’ Then I’ll do something very quickly afterward, so I don’t die.” As did the now late comedian George Burns at 99 years old, I, at 63, keep telling people, “I can’t kick the bucket. I’m booked.”

What, as opposed to who (to which I’ll get), is Prospero?

He is the usurped Duke of Milan, Italy, an intellectual betrayed by his brother, Antonio (played by Scott Lange), kidnapped, and exiled by the King of Naples (Scott Wright). Antonio steals Prospero’s title and riches. He conspires to have Prospero and Prospero’s infant daughter, Miranda (Elle Lucksted), cast away on a distant isle. However, Prospero also is a magician, a sorcerer who can, among other things, control the weather. Twelve years having passed and Miranda on the cusp of womanhood, Prospero whips up the title storm that shipwrecks his enemies onto the sands he commands. He seeks vengeance, aided by the ethereal sprite Ariel (Kate Bode) who, as is the villainous monster Caliban (Chris Teller), is bound as a slave to Prospero’s bidding.

Now, who, really, is Prospero?

Common wisdom is that he is the alter ego of Shakespeare himself. The parallel when “The Tempest” was written and first performed, in the 1600’s, is that both were nearer the end than the beginning. At the conclusion of “The Tempest,” Prospero gives up his magic and his books that made it possible. Within a few years after writing ”The Tempest,” Shakespeare retired.

Send in the geezers.

Shakespearean scholar George McMullan has written, “The role of Prospero … is one that Shakespearean actors of a certain stature … aspire toward the end of their career.” Which puts me in the company of Sir John Gielgud, Charles Laughton, and John Cassavetes; you know, that crowd.

And all of those guys are dead.

Dadgummit.

So, how to play Prospero, rehearse him?

We just started this week. Thus we have, at this writing, been buffeted by “The Tempest” for only a few days. Yet some things never change.
First, learn the lines. Prospero has a ton of ‘em.

“The Tempest” is a short play, but Prospero begins and ends it, and between his first entrance and final exit has more to say than any other of its characters. He’s a major storyteller, charged with the dishing out much of the exposition that explains what’s going on.

As any actor will tell you, you can’t play the part till you own the words. Once you have those in your head, take a cue from James Cagney: plant your feet, look the other guy in the eye, and tell the truth; or, as Spencer Tracy once said, know your lines and don’t bump into the furniture.

Here comes the homework, the memorization, the nigh total abandoning of any semblance of personal life. Prospero delivers some huge monologues that can’t be mailed in. Making huge monologues interesting will be one of my challenges.

One should never kid oneself about the supposed romance and glamour of theater. It’s work, and requires a singular dedication to sweating it out till the job’s done. Which it never is. Acting is evolution. The more an actor develops a character, the more the character changes. That’s what makes characters interesting.

What, then, does Prospero want? What are his objectives?

One is to exact revenge; another, to protect his only child. Yet as enraged as Prospero is against those who have heaped injustices upon him, he is capable, in time, of forgiveness.

Beatlesesque, I’ll get by with a little help from my friends. Pigeon Creek’s “Tempest” does not have a director. It has directors. All of us.
The show is being “ensemble directed,” meaning each individual actor will have input from the rest in the cast. Being used to the benign dictatorship of a single director as opposed to this dramatic democracy, a Shakespearean lending of my ears (“Julius Caesar”) will not be amiss. May 2, at our first group reading of “The Tempest,” Pigeon Creek cofounder and executive director Katherine Mayberry explained that ensemble directing is how Shakespeare’s own acting company, the King’s Men,” went about its business. Pigeon Creek is an “original practices” Shakespeare troupe. As such, it stages plays in the same manner they were done when Shakespeare lived.

Taking direction from other actors — normally verboten in theater, to the point of getting an offender kicked out of the show — will be a first for me; not only with Pigeon Creek, but ever, and I’ve performed in a bunch of plays since my 1978 debut. Both previous Pigeon Creek productions in which I’ve performed — as Gloucester in “King Lear” and as the Ghost/First Player/Player King/Priest in “Hamlet,” had directors, respectively Tom Harryman and Mayberry.

This new gig should be interesting.

So far there’s been a lot of laughter. So far. Is that the acrimony of anarchy I hear rumbling, thunder-like, in the distance? Nah.

Wonder how Christopher Plummer’s dealing with this whole Prospero thing.

On second thought, better not call ‘im.

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on,” Prospero says. “And our little life is rounded with a sleep.”

Sleep? Being that Prospero’s from Italy, fuggedaboutit.

My revels, for now, are ended.

My Most Painted Word

Greetings to all you Pigeon Creek fans and Shakespeare aficionados out there!

I’m Scott Wright and it’s my turn this week.

“Hamlet” has been one of my favorites almost since the first time I read and saw it back in high school, and when I learned that PCSC was going to be presenting it this spring I couldn’t help feeling a little excited.

It wasn’t long before I began thinking, “I could play Claudius…”

Then they actually gave me the role.

Pleased at first of course (-and pleased still, for all that…), as I began reading and researching the script, that small voice that reminds me every so often that I’m not all that, started getting a little louder.

Here I was looking at a role in the play that some might call Shakespeare’s masterwork – one of the greatest works in the English language – a character that has been dissected and analyzed by literary types all over the world for centuries, and played by such actors as Basil Sydney, James Earl Jones, Patrick Stewart, and Derek Jacobi – to name just a few.

Feeling just a little intimidated now…

But once we got into rehearsals the general wackiness and sense of fun that infuses this group quickly winnowed away any doubts.

Everyone in the group attacked the text with a gusto and seriousness that is truly a thing to behold.

Now, I’ve been a self-described Shakespeare geek for quite a long time, but after being involved with Pigeon Creek for a few shows (“Hamlet is my fifth…) my Shakespeare-geekness-quotient has increased conspicuously.

Under the influence of the brilliant Katherine Mayberry I’ve gone from being simply an enthusiast to the point where I now find myself unconsciously working out scansion, curiously intrigued by the variations of rhythm within the rigid structure of iambic pentameter and intensely fascinated with the minutiae of punctuation…

I found and downloaded a facsimile copy of the 2nd Quarto edition (the “good” quarto) so that I could directly compare its spellings and punctuation with the modern editions, and bought the 2nd volume of the two-volume Furness edition that I’d been missing ever since I found Volume 1 in a used book store back in college, so that I could see the 1st (“bad”) quarto and look for more character clues…

It’s a frightening and wonderful thing she’s done to us…

But in rehearsals we began to look at it from an actor’s perspective – seeing the characters as real people, looking to bring life to their actions and words, discovering the relationships between them and the feelings they express (-or don’t express…) for each other, creating something more than two-dimensional literary characters.

It would be easy (and a bit lazy) to make Claudius a cardboard cut-out villain, but Shakespeare created very few of those kind of characters and Claudius is not one of them.

No one in the play ever says that Claudius is a tyrant or a bad king.  No one (except Hamlet…) seems to think that he’s done anything particularly wrong by seizing the throne and marrying his brother’s wife…  (Though it would probably have been bad form to have said so…)

In fact, whatever reasons he may have had for murdering his brother – whether for power, or for a woman, or both – he’s doing his best to appear a genuinely nice guy – at least in the beginning.

Claudius’ fratricidal act seems to have set in motion a series of events that will inevitably bring his carefully constructed world crashing down around him.  Whenever something unexpected happens he lashes out in a desperate attempt to re-establish order – which he never quite manages to do, as each attempt seems to spin things further and further out of control.  At last, he turns again to secret, cold-blooded murder as the only way to get back on top of things, but the result is that nearly everyone around him – including his queen, the promising young Laertes, and he himself suffer the same fate as his intended target.

So the challenge then will be to bring to life a man with a heart -  a heart that loves, that feels loss, and sadness, and regret, but whose envy, ambition, lust, and fear lead him to commit the primal eldest act of jealousy…