Monthly Archives: April 2014

Lights, camera, action: Dancing from stage to screen as Royal Opera House brings Royal Ballet LIVE: ‘The Winter’s Tale’ to cinemas all over the world – Monday 28th April 2014

Shakespeare in all the performing arts! NWCTC produced a traditional, classically costumed production of The Winter’s Tale last year. As one of the more complicated, and less frequently performed of Shakespeare’s romantic epics, we love seeing it pop up in new forms, being re-choreographed, newly thought out, and newly presented to audiences.

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Sarah Lamb as Perdita and Steven McRae as Florizel in The Winter's Tale (ROH, Johan Persson, 2014) 2 Sarah Lamb as Perdita and Steven McRae as Florizel in ‘The Winter’s Tale’ (ROH, Johan Persson, 2014)

REVIEW: ‘The Winter’s Tale’, by the Royal Ballet, part of the Royal Opera House LIVE Season 2014/15 – Cineworld, Milton Keynes, Monday 28th April 2014

“When you do dance, I wish you

A wave o’ the sea, that you might

ever do

Nothing but that.”

– William Shakespeare (‘The Winter’s Tale’)

Ballet lovers joined viewers in 29 countries across the world last night at the city’s live screening of the Royal Ballet’s newest full-length work, ‘The Winter’s Tale’.

Cineworld Milton Keynes had very few empty seats as audience members immersed themselves in Christopher Wheeldon’s captivating ballet of Shakespeare’s ‘problem play’.

A tragicomedy about love and jealousy, ‘The Winter’s Tale’ depicts the psychological breakdown of Leontes, the King of Sicilia.

When his childhood friend Polixenes, the King of Bohemia, visits the kingdom of Sicilia, the two…

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Monday Banquet by Jason Maniccia

Ugh. Worked the banquet scene tonight, and I have still not wound down. Man, it’s another one of those where the guy just turns on a dime. And how to work that out without just schmacting the f**k out of it, right? I mean: he sees a ghost. A GHOST. Put that in your Meisner and smoke it.

Add to that the fact that I am woefully behind on memorization for this scene. Don’t ask me why, somehow it keeps itself under my radar. Some form of denial, I’m sure. Add to that it’s a Monday, that started too hard and ended too late. Add to that that I picked up a long-awaited pair of eyeglasses that were supposed to change my life and did little more than make my good vision four hundred dollars worth of worse to the point I just wanted to cry.

So yes, I arrived at the Shoebox tonight to rehearse the banquet scene: fully prepared to kill people. (please note: no actors were harmed in the writing of this blog).

But the work does funny things to you sometimes. It both feeds into these moments and it saves you from them. With chaos all around you outside, the chaos onstage becomes clay on the wheel. Bloody, explosive, poisonous, beautiful clay.

And oh, the power and empowerment of our little company. To see Melissa Whitney across the table from me…and know, KNOW we are in the same moment, on the same page, at the same time; that I can say anything, do anything, and she will be there; that it’s all happening right now. She is a blessing. How blessed I am, and how I hope I can give back even half what I get from my castmates.

Talked to Todd, a former Macbeth himself, in the lobby. Commiserated as much as we could  – “yeah, it’s a bitch. He’s a-a-a-a-all over the place, he turns on a dime.” Thy fate is the common fate of all…

I’ll attach an image to this blog. I occasionally do some work with art markers, mostly like what you see here. Inspired by the marketing materials created by Butch Flowers and Grant Byington for this show, I wanted to tinker some with oranges and blacks. Here’s a first go. If I come up with any more, I’ll pass them along.

-Jason Maniccia, Macbeth

Image

Transference – by Jason Maniccia

Transference

Mamet writes about the play’s influence on the actor, how the events of the play impose themselves on the actor’s process. The problems the actor encounters in rehearsal and in performance are, in fact, the problems of the character he plays in the story. The play imposes itself on the player. It sounds mystical or magical, and ridiculously so, doesn’t it? But it’s true.

 

I’ve been having this weird experience in my life lately – this wavering of self-confidence, like there’s some kind of on/off switch on my sense of certainty. In a moment I’ll realize that I have no idea what I’m doing, what the future holds, that I’m a fraud and a fool. And in another moment I’ll realize that I’m sure of myself, content with my time and pleased with my choices, safe in the knowledge that the future will be what it will be.

 

The first thing we uncover rehearsing Macbeth: “so…he’s, like, totally changed his mind here? When did that happen?” In a moment he is fearful and uncertain, wrestling with his conscience – and in the next he has no doubt, no hesitancy. And I think, “He seems to turn on a dime for no reason, how can I possibly deal with these about-faces?” But then I think, “Wait – how could that possibly be a mystery to me?”

 

-Jason Maniccia, Macbeth

Macbeth

Macbeth

For the final show in our Season of Kings, NWCTC brings you Macbeth, directed by company member Butch Flowers.