Thursday, 29 May 2014

Shakespeare 450th Birth Anniversary Festival – Workshops on Apr 24 & 25, 2014: Romeo & Juliet, and Macbeth

'My only love sprung from my only hate'

Our UK visitors, Madhav Sharma and Miranda Lapworth, conducted two workshops, introducing Shakespeare to participants through stage acting. On Apr 24 they took up scenes from Romeo and Juliet for acting, and on Apr 25 it was Macbeth. The film shows of the two plays had been arranged on the day prior to the workshops.

'this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine'

The participants were divided into groups of two or three as required and handed out the text of short scenes, for example, the opening scene from R &J where the servants of the Capulet and Montague families go about insulting and taunting each other until swords are drawn and a brawl ensues.

Miranda Lapworth with participants in the Romeo & Juliet Workshop on Apr 24

First, the workshop attendees focused on what the scene was about, the emotions and underlying tensions, and how they are manifested by the characters playing the scene. Then one had to visualise how to occupy the space on the stage and the orientation of the players and significant gestures by them. Imaginative recreations of the atmosphere and the physical locale (e.g. framing the balcony with two pairs of hands forming an arch for the Balcony Scene from R & J) were constructed with the guidance of the workshop conductors.

Madhav Sharma with participants in the Romeo & Juliet Workshop, Apr 24

The participants were carried away with enthusiasm for the scene being enacted and put all their energy in getting it right. The scene was repeated several times by each group to introduce improvements. Madhav Sharma reiterated that there is no one way to do a scene, and the same actor will try out different methods, proving thereby that the play has riches to be discovered only by studying and working on the underlying text.

Anna Raju & Sudakshna Thampi, Amita Palat at the R & J Workshop, Apr 24

In what follows is the text of the scenes from the play (all edited for brevity), and pictures of the workshops in process.

To read more, click below.

Madhav Sharma rolls over as Amita Palat mourns

Anna Raju & Sudakshna Thampi in a scene

The workshop with participants

Capulet & Montague shake hands when the tragedy is over, R&J are dead

Participants in the Romeo & Juliet Workshop, Apr 24

Madhav Sharma with Participants in the Macbeth Workshop, Apr 25

Miranda Lapworth with Participants in the Macbeth Workshop, Apr 25

Brian Papali & Preeti Sreenivasan at the Macbeth workshop

Preeti Sreenivasan prepares to deal a blow at the Macbeth workshop

Preeti Sreenivasan has done the deed

KumKum & Sheila Cherian at the Macbeth workshop

Preeti Sreenivasan confront Madhav Sharma at the Macbeth workshop

Gigy Joseph of SBC, Changanacherry at the Macbeth workshop

KumKum & Preeti Sreenivasan of St Teresa's College as the three witches in the Macbeth workshop

Josy Joseph of SBC, Changanacherry, with others as the three witches in the Macbeth workshop

Miranda Lapworth with Participants in the Macbeth Workshop, Apr 25

Madhav Sharma & Angel Papali at the Macbeth Workshop, Apr 25

Preeti Sreenivasan (St Teresa's) & Gigi Joseph (SBC, Changanacherry) at the Macbeth workshop Apr 25

Participants (Khalifa on right) in the Macbeth Workshop, Apr 25

Madhav Sharma with Participants in the Macbeth Workshop, Apr 25

Text of Scenes (edited) from the plays enacted in the Workshops

Romeo & Juliet
Act 1, Scene 1
They fight
Act 1, Scene 5

Act 2, Scene 2
JULIET appears above at a window

Act 1, Scene 5
Enter CAPULET and Nurse

Act 1, Scene 2
For brave Macbeth--well he deserves that name--
Disdaining fortune, with his brandish'd steel,
Which smoked with bloody execution,
Like valour's minion carved out his passage
Till he faced the slave;
Which ne'er shook hands, nor bade farewell to him,
Till he unseam'd him from the nave to the chaps,
And fix'd his head upon our battlements.

Act 1, Scene 3
First Witch
Where hast thou been, sister?
Killing swine.
Third Witch
Sister, where thou?
Drum within
Second Witch
a drum!
Third Witch
Macbeth doth come.

Thus do go about, about:
Thrice to thine and thrice to mine
And thrice again, to make up nine.
Peace! the charm's wound up.
So foul and fair a day I have not seen.
What are these
That look not like the inhabitants o' the earth,
And yet are on't?
Speak, if you can: what are you?
All hail, Macbeth! hail to thee, thane of Glamis!
All hail, Macbeth, hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!
All hail, Macbeth, thou shalt be king hereafter!
Second Witch
Third Witch
3 Witches
Your children shall be kings.

Act 1, Scene 5
Glamis thou art, and Cawdor; and shalt be
What thou art promised: yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o' the milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way: thou wouldst be great;
Art not without ambition, but without
The illness should attend it: what thou wouldst highly,
That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false,
And yet wouldst wrongly win: thou'ldst have, great Glamis,
That which cries 'Thus thou must do, if thou have it;
And that which rather thou dost fear to do
Than wishest should be undone.' Hie thee hither,
That I may pour my spirits in thine ear;
And chastise with the valour of my tongue
All that impedes thee from the golden round,
The raven himself is hoarse
That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements. Come, you spirits
And fill me from the crown to the toe top-full
Of direst cruelty! 

Act 2, Scene 2
I have done the deed. Didst thou not hear a noise?
I heard the owl scream and the crickets cry.
Did not you speak?
As I descended?
Looking on his hands
Consider it not so deeply; so, it will make us mad.

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