Ophelia…Day 1

Ophelia day 1

photo by Marg Horwell

The first day of a rehearsal, I often say, is only useful because it allows you to  get to the second day of rehearsal. Beginning is fraught, expectations are scattered, energies meet at different levels, strangers meet for the first time; there is no rhythm.

This was a different kind of first day. Three performers, in a fantastic studio (Broken Mirror in Brunswick) on a stage roughly marked and filled with curious objects (including the kitchen sink) by Marg, with Darrin’s early sounds filling the room, Frances teaching us how to tie each other up via skype, from Brussels. Different levels of preparedness to be sure, but I like that.

The obvious observation is that with Hamlet, you can do almost anything; gestures, words, different objects and play are all amplified by the presence of that text/artifact/thing. On a more practical level, the trio (Ophelia/Gertrude/Hamlet) feels absolutely right for this chamber adaptation and the diversity of skills in the room is thrilling.

So, we have begun in the best possible way. I will continue to report from the room, although I am so loathe to talk about the process, even with those involved, that the detail may well be sporadic or opaque. Talking, naming, describing is so often a fear-response, a need-to-lock-in-meaning in the face of the unknown. We shall see. It seems Frances might try her hand at it too. Who knows, maybe somewhere in the space between the two of us, something might make sense.


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