Monday, 12 October 2015

Former 1623 trainee Lucy Daunt shares her thoughts on having played Romeo at Derby LGBTQ Pride 2015 as part of her Same-Love Shakespeare project.

Rehearsing Romeo and Juliet © 1623When we came up with the idea of performing scenes from Romeo and Juliet as a same-sex couple for Pride on the 12th of September it was already the 9th. Thanks to Ella we had all the actors we needed to perform the meeting of the two signature characters and, of course, the beautiful balcony scene.

Backstage at Derby Pride © 1623The first rehearsal went really well. We had a quick run through and then worked into the scenes. I had a great time trying Romeo's character as opposed to Juliet who I've played before. It was really interesting to see the scene from Romeo's point of view and to explore the words Shakespeare has given him.

The next rehearsal was on the Sunday. When we arrived we did a line run and then Ella became extremely ill and we couldn't continue. But we rearranged for Wednesday evening.

One of our leaflets © 1623So Wednesday we had an excellent rehearsal. Ben introduced us to the idea of him and James Varney performing the scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream between Titania and Bottom. We also decided to show the wedding between Romeo and Juliet as well as their parting although changing it so that Juliet is forced to marry Paris by her father instead. And then to cheer up the audience Ben and James would perform their comedy scene.

Romeo and Juliet © 1623After running through the scenes twice we went outside to the fountain where we were to perform it. The run through went really well although it was difficult to hear each other so we knew we would have to work on our projection.

On Saturday we joined the procession which was lovely and colourful and gave out little flyers with a love quote from Shakespeare plays to share the Shakespeare love. Then as the procession went past the fountain (which had been turned off) we pulled away from the rest and did our first performance.

In the local newspaper © 1623It went well although there weren't many people because the procession had continued further on but the people who came seemed to enjoy it and a few people stopped to watch a bit before carrying on with their journey.

Afterwards we decided that, for our second performance, it would be better to bring it all forwards, closer the audience since they kept congregating further away from us than we would have liked. So we decided not to use the waterfall as the balcony as we had for the first performance, but instead bring the balcony scene down and further out so that it we were closer to engage the audience.

The second performance attracted a bigger audience and I was really really pleased with the whole day. I hope everyone who watched it enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed performing. Thank you to all who came to support us and spread the Shakespeare love.


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