Week by week

Week 5

It's Week 5, and the cast have moved out of the rehearsal room and onto the Globe stage for the final few days of rehearsals. This period is called the 'Technical Rehearsal', but the actors and creatives often call this 'Tech Week'. The technical rehearsal is lengthy as it will stop and start repeatedly. Over the next few days all the different parts of the production are brought together. During the weekend the production crew put up the set, and actors will get to rehearse in their costumes for the first time as well as using their performance props. All the sound cues are tested, and the stage management team will work to ensure the actors know their entrances and exits - especially important at the Globe when using the yard.

Week 5 Blog

Day 1


It’s great to be out of the rehearsal room and hearing the play in the Globe. The actors spent the afternoon running through scenes before our technical rehearsal starts tomorrow. It’s reassuring to notice that the actors are playing the space so well already, choosing moments to turn out and using the sides of the stage as well as the front. Most modern actors are used to playing in proscenium arch theatres where all the audience are in front of you, at the the globe that’s not the case and we want to include everybody.


Day 2


The technical rehearsal is underway. I have been involved in a 10 day technical rehearsal before, as an actor in a musical. On that occasion there were so many technical aspects involved -lighting, sound, costume, big scene changes and music. Our technical rehearsal for Much Ado should be relatively painless but will still probably take two and a half days. It’s great to try out the moments involving the yard (the space in front of the stage where audience members will stand) and to hear the band playing.


Day 3

I’m enjoying watching the actors finding their feet in this space. I’ve always loved technical rehearsals. For the actors, it’s usually the first time you get to run scenes in costume and, sometimes, the first time the correct props or furniture are used. Very often things start to make more sense and you become more aware of your character and the world they live in. At the Globe, tour parties and school groups come into the theatre throughout the day and this gives the actors a chance to play to a real, albeit very small, audience. I enjoyed sitting next to a tour party listening to Benedick’s speech after his gulling scene...Good to hear them laughing a lot!


Day 4

The tech is complete! In fact we managed to squeeze in two dress rehearsals. The second one was for an invited audience of friends and colleagues. Even this small audience of about 100 people was very responsive and our actors were using them well. Everyone seems confident and ready for tomorrow when around 1500 young people are seeing the first performance.


Day 5


We’re up! A great first show. Thank you to everyone who came. It was so exciting to hear the audience’s response. I had some big surprises. Donna Joan’s line ‘let me be what I am, do not seek to alter me’ provoked a cheer. I wonder why? Perhaps because the sense of the status of this character is really clear in our production. Michael’s decision to make Don John a woman in a man’s world as opposed to an illegitimate man really gives this audience a sense of injustice and motivation behind Donna Joan’s actions in the play. It was great to hear the audience cheering on Beatrice or Benedick in their ‘merry war’ too. This audience seemed to be longing for a happy ending... when the lovers kiss the globe roared its approval. A big success!


Day 6


The first two show day. The afternoon performance was a ‘relaxed performance’. This is a scheduled show specifically with children and adults with special needs in mind. For this production any loud musical moments or effects will be softened and the actors are briefed that they might experience different kinds of reactions from normal. I brought two of my sons, Bill (7) and Charlie (5), along to see the show. Charlie laughed, a lot, particularly at Claudio, Benedick and DonPedro’s rough and tumble and at Dogberry and Verges. Bill was transfixed and loved the whole thing. The audience was in many ways ‘easier’ than the schools audience yesterday, certainly they were quieter. There was a fair amount of movement in the yard and I was reminded that in Shakespeare’s time the atmosphere at the globe might have been more like a town square than a theatre. Lots of comings and goings and chatter perhaps. Tonight is the final show of the week for paying public. I’m betting this show will go down a storm. But, I’m taking Bill and Charlie home on the bus and leaving the actors to it. From now on it’s pretty much over to them anyway. I’ll be checking over the next few weeks though and I’ll be sure to let you know how it’s going.

NEW BRIEF AVAILABLE – Design a Costume

A creative brief is given to each member of the creative team working on the project. It 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 and design your own costume for the production using our costume brief.

The designer for Much Ado About Nothing, Andrew Edwards, has been asked to design costumes for the production. To do this, he used a creative brief and talked with director Michael Oakley about what themes are important to him in this production.

Why not have a go at the creative brief and design your own costumes for Much Ado About Nothing? You can read some top tips for designing a costume below.

1. Be open initially to lots of different options, but remember you will need to focus in on specific ideas related to the character you are designing for. This could be to do with their age, gender, background, shape, height etc.

2. Don’t be afraid to reuse bits of old costume you’ve created in the past or have seen - but remember you’ll also need to think about how characters relate to each other and so view them not only as individuals but as a company.

3. The shape of a costume can be as important as the materials you use - something with good lines and fit can also signify an expensive outfit.

4. You need to make sure your drawing is really clear so that someone could actually make it. To help with this you should include notes describing what materials you will use and any other details.

5. Sometimes you might not be able to say everything about a character through their clothes - think about what accessories you could add to help with your character’s identity.

Now download the Costume Brief' and the male and female templates on the right. Once you are done email your creations to us at digital.i@shakespearesglobe.com and we may feature it on the site.