Saturday, 17 August 2013

Welcome to 'La Biblioteca'~

[Isabella - The Lover]

Ahh I was doing so well with the updates and everything and now it's been about 3 weeks... 
Hopefully I'll be better in future!

So, as you may or may not know, I was recently in a production with my theatre company in Manchester called 'La Biblioteca', performed in John Ryland's Library. (which, seriously, if you haven't been there before, you should definitely go! It's so beautiful! I felt like I was in Hogwarts :) ). The piece was site specific, and it was very intense - both emotionally and physically! 

The show was in the style of Comedia Dell'Arte, which is a style of Theatre that has it's origins in the early 17th Century Italy. It was the first form of professional theatre groups and was, at first, performed on the streets of Italy. Naturally, most of the performance work was improvised as, like with all forms of art which has elements of audience interaction, spontaneity is key. We incorporated this element of interacting with the audience in our piece, which, I personally felt was a success! The audience seemed to really enjoy being able to talk to the characters and make suggestions - although some people weren't the most responsive! For me, the improvised element of the whole show was possibly my favourite, as it allowed for a lot of creative freedom, which as an actor is something rare to come across!!

Comedia Dell'Arte is also a very physical type of theatre as most of the characterisation of the set roles starts from the body and works it's way inwards - very different from naturalistic performances where characterisation is usually starting mentally and then physicality. Strangely enough, although perhaps not too strange considering my background in theatre mainly stemming from physical theatre, I often find that the Comedia method of starting with a physicality and developing a personality from that to be far easier! And whilst that's possibly not very good for working on film, where movement is usually underplayed as much as possible, in Comedia I found that it helped a lot and I feel that I managed to get a grasp of the style very quickly.

There are also set characters in Comedia, which usually represent the hierarchy of the Italian era. At the bottom you get the 'Zannis' who are the slaves, then there are the Lovers who are the pampered children of rich old people. Next there are the Capitanos who represent foreigners of Italy at the time (namely the Spanish). Finally there are the rich old people, who are usually rather stuck up and stingey. 

Of course, I ended up playing a Lover, of the name 'Isabella' (undoubtably cast in this role due to the sheer amount of Disney that I had watched as a child...) 
This involved a lot of balletic movements and stances floating through the corridors wailing about how my love interest was being sent to Rome! 

It was highly over dramatic and very very silly in terms of storylines (we used 3 set stories - The Toothpuller, The Absurd Visit of Dotorre and The Two Identical Capitanos) and although in the last week, we had 13 hour rehearsals with high stress and little sleep and practically no food (only a few sandwiches for lunch and that was it!), I thoroughly enjoyed the entire performance process and experience!! 

It is, to this day, the best production I have ever been in and I am so grateful that I managed to get involved with such an amazing theatre company! And even though we had 7 shows in 3 days (I KNOW!!), I felt nothing but happiness!

So yeah! Overall, amazing project! Can't wait for the next one at Christmas! Go CYAC! 

Till Next time~

If you would like to read more about this amazing play from an audience point of view, here is a blog from another member! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment