The Winterfood Diaries

The Winterfood Diaries

Sunday, 5 November 1989

A Tape For Gemma

‘I Can’t Explain’ – David Bowie


VERY QUICKLY:

 
Watchmen is good and Gemma is nice and edible.

I’ve done her a tape with tracks from:

The Sisters of Mercy
Cyndi Lauper
Strawberry Switchblade
David Bowie
David Sylvian
Marc Almond
The Mission
Killing Joke

The Pythons are good.

 
Later:

‘Forever Blue’ – Swing Out Sister


I’m knackered.

I think I know why.

The first thing I noticed about the Mansfield Park cast when rehearsals kicked off was that they seemed to have no preconceptions about their characters or how they were going to play them.  This means that I’ve had to take the show and block it, moment by moment, inch by inch and, very often, show them what each scene means and precisely how a moment might be played.  It’s very hard work.

It’s been all I can do not to shout and bellow at them to bring something to rehearsals – an idea, a characteristic, anything.  They just don’t seem keen on ‘owning’ the roles, relying on me for line-readings and not finding any physicality until I’ve got up and demonstrated what I would do if I was them.  They just don’t seem to want to take any risks.

I’ve tried and I’ve tried to individually explain the levels of motivation in each character – and finally that seems to be paying off, but it has been a bit like pulling teeth.  For what it’s worth, I think Kat has the toughest time as Norris, because the layers of that character are many, but Kat like all the other actors on this show need to understand the scenes rather than simply remembering the lines (which in itself seems to be rather a feat). 


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Next time: ‘A lovely day…’

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