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Week 1

Welcome to Week 1 of Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank.

Rehearsals have now begun for this year's production of Othello. Join us on our Week by Week journey as we follow the cast and the creatives through rehearsal and into performance.

This week we spoke to Bill Buckhurst (Director) about the theme this year's production is taking, and the world that Shakespeare is presenting in Othello.

Introduce yourself to the cast below and the characters they'll be playing. 

Select a Week

Week 1 Video

Week 1 Images

Jamie Beamish is playing Iago, Othello's Ensign. (Photo: Bronwen Sharp)

Bethan Cullinane is playing Desdemona, Othello's wife. (Photo: Bronwen Sharp)

Lloyd Everitt plays Othello. (Photo: Bronwen Sharp)

Georgina Lamb is playing Iago's wife, Emilia. (Photo: Bronwen Sharp)

Pieter Lawman is playing the Duke of Venice and Gratiano. (Photo: Bronwen Sharp)

Alex Mugnaioni is playing Roderigo. (Photo: Bronwen Sharp)

Leon Scott is Montano. (Photo: Bronwen Sharp)

Freddie Scott is playing Cassio, Othello's Lieutenant. (Photo: Bronwen Sharp)

Dickon Tyrrell is playing Brabantio and Lodovico. (Photo: Bronwen Sharp)

Jessica Warbeck is playing Bianca. (Photo: Bronwen Sharp)

Week 1 Blog

Friday Night

It’s Friday night after our first week of rehearsals and I am ready for my bed! It has been a mad week. Shakespeare, zip wires, singing, rope climbing, drumming, circuit training, marching and new faces. Not your usual start to a rehearsal process! 

We all met each other and the team on Monday. Pumped full of nerves and adrenaline, it felt like my first day of school- but there were plenty of smiling faces, and after a giant cookie, provided by the Globe, we were ready to work. We read through the play first of all. It was great to hear it spoken out loud after reading it alone at home. Everyone’s character seemed to come to life instantly. I’ve got a good feeling about this!

Glynn Macdonald, the movement associate then took all of the actors on the Globe stage to get a feel for it. It is huge. The audience fill your peripheral vision. They are everywhere you look. Up high, and down low, even lower than our feet. It was only day one we were all thinking about that space being filled with 1,500 faces. 

A couple of the cast had a zip wire and rope induction during the week. They rigged a wire from the top balcony down to the yard, and Georgina and Pieter strapped on a harness and jumped! They were brilliant. There are a lot of exciting physical things happening in this production… but I can’t give it all away. To prepare us for it we have been doing circuit training. Most of the characters in Othello are battle-hardened soldiers. These people are in shape, and hopefully we will be too! Georgina is also doing the choreography for the show and I suppose is technically drill sergeant! Although she doesn’t scream over us whilst we do push-ups, showering us in a cloud of spit, she is very motivational… and we still do the push-ups. 

We’ve learnt a lot of songs this week, and some complicated rhythms that have taken a lot of practice. Alex Silverman is the composer and he devised a brilliant way for us to remember the rhythms- by putting words to them! One of the sentences goes like this:

“Cheese and a big Cauliflower, That’s what’s in Cauliflower Cheese” 

and another goes..

“Give me a ba-na-na, give me a, na-na, give me a”

It’s a great way to remember them, but at 2am when they are dancing around my head, I wish that I didn’t!

Throughout the week we have been reading through the script scene by scene. We read the scene in Shakespeare’s words, and then we went back over the scene and spoke it in our own words. No doubt there are the odd words or expressions that we don’t use nowadays, and we would figure these out as a group, but some of the language in Othello sounds so modern that it was hard to find other ways of saying it. I would come out with my way of saying what was written, pause a moment and then think: Actually, I think what Shakespeare said is clearer. The language really isn’t as isolating as we can sometimes think. 

We are called in tomorrow morning for a photo shoot. Hopefully we can stand still and look ‘good’, because I’m really not sure that I can manage another push up! Next week we will start to get the scenes up on their feet. I’m really excited about this production of Othello. I may be a little bit biased, but I think it’s going to be a good one. Good vibes from week one. 

From Bethan [Desdemona] in the rehearsal room.

Creative Brief

Mood Boards

A creative brief is given to each member of the creative team working on the Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank project. The brief is intended to help them structure their ideas and keep a focus on the director's intended vision for the production. Why not be creative yourself by designing your own moodboard for the production using our creative brief.