This afternoon I spoke to Antonia Kemi Coker and Steve Jacobs about their experiences in the workshops.
How are you finding the week and the workshops?
SJ: I’m really, really enjoying it. I work a lot in Cornwall with a lot of companies that tend to be the same people, so it’s great to work with different people. And it’s just a really lovely group. I love the way we’re exploring this play and digging deep into it—chucking things, kicking things about. You don’t always get the opportuity to do that with a play: you turn up day one, you read it through and then you start blocking. I’m really enjoying what we’re finding, and the different ways a character can be played just when someone else steps into those shoes. So yeah, I’ve found it…brilliant.
AKC: Like Steve, I’m really enjoying the variety of the working process: exploring costume and exploring different people playing different parts. I love that there’s singing in it, and that there’s movement and dance. I love that we can sit down and take…we took about an hour, an hour and a half talking about playing and just trying ot understand each paragraph of what the writer is saying. But I’m usually a very physical person, so that sort of stuff doesn’t normally connect with me, but for some reason this is a platform where I feel able to just engage with that, I suppose, academic side of theatre.
Talking about working in modes and in ways you might not normally work, is there anything that has surprised you or struck you in particular?
AKC: I wasn’t expecting to be asked what I called myself—like he, she, or other. Struck, no, but that’s never happened to me before.
SJ: Same with me—that’s a new one for me, too. But I haven’t had the opportunity to work with actors who are deaf—that’s a new thing for me, and I’ve really enjoyed being part of that, seeing the way it works for different languages physically as well as vocally.
Is there anything you’d like to explore going forward or that you’re looking forward to getting stuck into? Or have you seen something in the text or in the room that you really want to grab hold of?
SJ: No I haven’t got a specific thing that I want to work on; I’m enjoying the fact that we’re looking at different aspects of the play on a daily basis. So, we’re always doing something new. I’m looking forward to how we maybe tie things together. I’m just open to how it pans out…
AKC: I think I’m the same, because every day is something new, and something exciting happening. I’m just looking forward to seeing what the next day brings—just because there’s always something here. I haven’t had time to think, I’d really love to do that—there’s always that, or there’s that, or there’s that to do—there’s always something really different
SJ: There’s characters in it—and yesterday we were working on the boys, on the shipwreck… And I was really enjoying, particularly Rafe—that character—he’s a character that I wouldn’t mind having a go at. But as Antonia said earlier, we’ve had so much variety, because we do a bit of text work, a bit of movement, dance, choral…
SJ: Yeah, music and singing, and then there’s all the sign language, and using all these things in the work. So it’s great that we get that variety.