The cast and creatives of the Henry VI cast are a lively bunch. Many of them are tweeting their adventures, including Roger Evans who will also writing us a blog, of which this is the first instalment.
Roger is playing Jack Cade, the leader of a popular revolt in 1450, during Henry V’s reign. The revolt came about due to local grievances against the king’s regime. Cade, based in Kent led an army of as many as 5,000 to London. After much looting in London the rebels were defeated in a battle not far from where the Globe now stands, at London Bridge. Cade was eventually killed in a small skirmish on 12 July 1450.
Over to Roger.
“So the first week of rehearsals is over and no one has been stabbed, hit or fallen over. Its a good start, considering how many fights and battles there are in these plays.
Everybody seems to be getting on really well, so far! We’re all excited about the fact that 14 actors will be telling these epic stories. The cut versions that Nick [Bagnall, director] has done read brilliantly and feel like they motor along at a real pace.
So far rehearsals have been gentle but intense. Two rooms running side by side- one music, one text. We’ve been doing a lot of drumming and I have to say it sounds amazing. As Gareth Pierce [Reignier, Duke of Anjou / George, Duke of Clarence] said “ It gets you right in the ********.”
Alex Baranowski [composer] has written a great rebel song for the Jack Cade section of part 2, so there’s been a lot of singing; or shouting depending on who you talk to.
We even had a session with trumpets just to see who in the cast could make a noise with them. Turns out Andy Sheridan [Earl of Warwick / Lord Talbot] is a veritable Miles Davis and has probably missed his vocation. I, on the other hand, after telling everyone I used to play bit of cornet and trombone when I was in school, couldn’t get a single note out of it! Which prompted the comment from Nigel Hastings [Duke of Bedford/Duke of Burgundy/Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March/Dick the Butcher] , “still got the old magic.” The swords are out, literally and metaphorically.
Combat Kate aka Kate Waters [Fight director] has been in a bit and we will be definitely seeing a lot more of her. It’s also brilliant to have my old movement teacher from drama school, Wendy Allnut, in the room. She is amazing and still scares me as much now as she did then. And I mean scare in the best sense of the word.
It’s starting to feel like there’s a real gang in the rehearsal room, which is fantastic for these plays. It’s all very exciting, and made even more special by the fact that we’ll be doing them on the very battlefields that The Wars of The Roses were fought on.
There is a huge responsibility. We all feel we want to honour the people who died in those fields. I am sure it will be an incredible, unique experience for everyone involved.
There’s an old saying that “ If you can’t see who the **** (insert your own derogatory word) in the room is, it’s probably you.” At the moment I think it might be me. But things may change and I will let you know, as and when, they do!”