In early November a group of postgraduate actors visited Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London for a study day hosted by the Royal Shakespeare Company. The group was made up of MFA Acting, MA Acting and Foundation Acting students, accompanied by Alex Taylor and Lise Olson; Course Directors for the two postgraduate acting courses at RBC.
During the day we had the opportunity to experience first-hand some training exercises, explored the theatre and got a feel for the stage and some techniques used in the working space. We were split into three groups and throughout the day rotated around the schedule, starting with a 45 minute tour of the theatre which included its history – for example we learnt about the materials used to recreate as accurately as possible the original theatre, and were told that the ticket pricing system reflected the system used in Shakespeare’s time.
We then took part in a two hour movement workshop facilitated by Gabrielle Moleta from the Globe movement faculty, this included utilising Shakespeare text we had previously prepared into the exercises, learning how to use the personal space around us, and experimenting with propelling the stories of our texts in different directions.
Then we were treated to another two hour session with Dickon Tyrrell, an experienced West End, Globe and RSC actor, and Higher Education Consultant. First we explored backstage, where he shared lots of tips and anecdotes from his own experience, then we went onto the theatre’s famous stage where we got to experience the space, learn the importance of various positions and the use of diagonals. Some of us got to play with some Shakespeare texts provided for the exercise and some of us got to perform our pre-prepared monologues on stage.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the day, for some it was quite an emotional experience; we felt privileged as aspiring actors to have the opportunity to speak some of Shakespeare’s words on a world-famous stage.