Category: Globe Ensemble

From Studio to Stage: Creating fights in Hamlet and As You Like…

From Studio to Stage: Creating fights in Hamlet and As You Like It

Yarit Dor is part of the Globe Ensemble, (performing Hamlet and As You Like It) as Fight Director. Here she concludes her blog series to tell you more about how she keeps the actors safe and creates fights that still make you wince to watch.


Once I brainstorm with the actors I then go away and do some work on my own. Like any designer of sorts “fight designing” has an element of solitude to it. 

Hamlet and As You Like It are not set in a specific time or era and this timeless aspect opens up a range of styles, research, and opportunities. I wanted the fights to support that by taking styles from different eras. 

As You Like It
The wrestling match has a mixture of wrestling ‘tastes’ in it. Some moves or concepts such as Medieval wresting are from Talhoffer and Meyer (15th and 16th-century fencing experts); some are Greek/Roman and some are more ‘contemporary show-off’ wrestling moves. We devised all the moves that emphasise the abilities of the actors and their ideas of storytelling earlier on. 

The rope came alive to fit with the overall style of the semi-physical-theatre like elements such as the sheep and the deer which come later on in the play. 

Hamlet
‘To Block or not to block’ – as part of the concept of actors owning and creating their own material, we tried to find a way for the ensemble to ‘improvise’ violent physical interactions that could change from one performance to the other. And so physical moments that you might find between Ophelia and Hamlet or Ophelia and Claudius explored by the actors in that performance might not repeat themselves if you see another show. To facilitate that kind of exploration we did a session looking at stage combat vocabulary, safety concepts and their installment: how to redirect someone’s energy or shift them to a safer space, how to go with verses that look like you resist, styles of contact, body positions, tension levels etc. 

When the general direction was that the last scene would feel like a ‘Tudorish’ sporting event, rapier & dagger were a joy to work with (and a favourite of mine) my research was then based on a time-mix between Vincentio Saviolo, Giacomo di Grassi, Salvator Fabris and Nicoletto Giganti who were all Italian sword-masters in and around the 16th and 17th centuries. There is much more sword-point based work in the two first phrases, rhythm changes and less ‘swashbuckly’ flair moves you may find in some productions or movies. Cuts and slashes were integrated more towards the end when Hamlet and Laertes start losing control and the line between sport and fight gets blurry. We decided not to have curved pathways around the pillars or through the courtiers in order to allow the non-fighting actors free movement around the fight and for Osric to manoeuvre himself. They’ve done brilliantly and it’s always an inspiration to see two actresses fight with blades in such an emotional rollercoaster of a play.

From Studio to Stage: Creating fights in Hamlet and As You Like…

From Studio to Stage: Creating fights in Hamlet and As You Like It

We spoke to the Globe Ensemble Fight Director, Yarit Dor, about what it takes to keep the 

actors safe and create fights that still make you wince to watch. Here she concludes her blog series taking us behind the scenes of Hamlet and As You Like It.


Once I brainstorm with the actors I then go away and do some work on my own. Like any designer of sorts “fight designing” has an element of solitude to it. 

Hamlet and As You Like It

are not set in a specific time or era and this timeless aspect opens up a range of styles, research, and opportunities. I wanted the fights to support that by taking styles from different eras. 

As You Like It

The wrestling match has a mixture of wrestling ‘tastes’ in it. Some moves or concepts such as Medieval wresting are from Talhoffer and Meyer (15th and 16th-century fencing experts); some are Greek/Roman and some are more ‘contemporary show-off’ wrestling moves. We devised all the moves that emphasise the abilities of the actors and their ideas of storytelling earlier on. 

The rope came alive to fit with the overall style of the semi-physical-theatre like elements such as the sheep and the deer which come later on in the play. 

image

Hamlet
‘To Block or not to block’ – as part of the concept of actors owning and creating their own material, we tried to find a way for the ensemble to ‘improvise’ violent physical interactions that could change from one performance to the other. And so physical moments that you might find between Ophelia and Hamlet or Ophelia and Claudius explored by the actors in that performance might not repeat themselves if you see another show. To facilitate that kind of exploration we did a session looking at stage combat vocabulary, safety concepts and their installment: how to redirect someone’s energy or shift them to a safer space, how to go with but still look like you are resisting, styles of contact, body positions, tension levels etc. 

When the general direction was that the last scene would feel like a ‘Tudorish’ sporting event, rapier & dagger were a joy to work with (and a favourite of mine) my research was then based on a time-mix between Vincentio Saviolo, Giacomo di Grassi, Salvator Fabris and Nicoletto Giganti who were all Italian sword-masters in and around the 16th and 17th centuries. There is much more sword-point based work in the two first phrases, rhythm changes and less ‘swashbuckly’ flair moves you may find in some productions or movies. Cuts and slashes were integrated more towards the end when Hamlet and Laertes start losing control and the line between sport and fight gets blurry. We decided not to have curved pathways around the pillars or through the courtiers in order to allow the non-fighting actors free movement around the fight and for Osric to manoeuvre himself. They’ve done brilliantly and it’s always an inspiration to see two actresses fight with blades in such an emotional rollercoaster of a play.

As You Like It on the stage Welcome to the Forest of Arden, full…


As You Like It


Colin Hurley (Touchstone) and Catrin Aaron (Phoebe)


Richard Katz, Nadia Nadarajah and James Garnon


Jack Laskey (Rosalind)


James Garnon (Audrey)

As You Like It on the stage 

Welcome to the Forest of Arden, full of disguise, mistaken identity and above all, love. 

Find out more about  As You Like It, playing until 26 August 2018. 

All images by Tristram Kenton. 

Play fighting: On stage fight choreography In this new blog…

Play fighting: On stage fight choreography 

In this new blog series Fight Director Yarit Dor will reveal how she works with actors to make fight scenes look realistic, whilst keeping everyone safe.

Hi, I’m Yarit and I’m part of the Globe Ensemble (performing Hamlet and As You Like It) as Fight Director. I wanted to share some of my process on Hamlet and As You Like It this season.

With the Globe Ensemble our mutual aim was to discover EVERYTHING in the rehearsal room. The actors inspire the work and decisions can be made as a collective therefore I decided to be there everyday rather than only coming in for fight sessions. That allowed me to be present in the full development and to be there when the actors explore scenes that have or might have violent interactions. Similar to Ellan (designer) who sketched in their notebook, I started to write down things that I saw: any physical impulses that they had, spatial pathways they were naturally using, games; props they were taking from the pile etc. That taught me a lot about how they view their character’s journey in that scene and why they need to use violence.

I snuck away at different points during the day and went into an empty room where I started brainstorming ideas on huge Post-It notes.

Hamlet’s fight brainstorming

Michelle, Bettrys, Ellan and I had a session of brainstorming where we chatted about the graveyard scene and the last fencing scene. We all wrote some words on a big Post-It and discussed the storytelling behind the action.  
Since the rehearsals were done in the order of the play, we would get to the fencing scene much later so it was essential for me to start teaching them a choreography that leaves space for the actresses to explore events, emotions and intent. Hearing them speak and analyse their character’s journey gave a direction for the action. Then after the rehearsal day I’d meet my Assistant, share thoughts with him and start to tailor moves.

As You Like It fight brainstorming

Our fight sessions happened much later in the process. Since the two main fights in the play are right in the first Act, I had a chance to see them playing with those scenes a couple of times. Also by the time we had our first fight session we’ve already worked through most of the play so I knew what kind of movement language overall was beginning to form itself – puppetry, animal work etc.  Therefore when Richard, Bettrys and I had our brainstorming session we all knew what style of language is required. In that session Richard came up with the ending and then we constructed it from end to start in theory and agreed on the storytelling of the fight. With Shubham and Bettrys we played some physical games and they shared stories of how they used to fight with their siblings so we used some of those concepts in the Orlando verses Oliver fight.

Words: Yarit Dor 

The 2018 #GlobeEnsemble: Rehearsal Room VibesYou may have read…

The 2018 #GlobeEnsemble: Rehearsal Room Vibes

You may have read our earlier blog about why our rehearsal room has been all about experimentation, collaboration and starting from scratch.

Today we thought we’d share with you a playlist of tracks that we have been using as inspiration and motivation in our theatre-making process

Have a listen on Spotify.

The #GlobeEnsemble 

The 2018 #GlobeEnsemble: Welcome to Our Test TubeWe are the 2018…

The 2018 #GlobeEnsemble: Welcome to Our Test Tube

We are the 2018 #GlobeEnsemble (currently rehearsing Hamlet and As You Like It) and we’re getting into the swing of things. Unlike many other previous Shakespeare’s Globe companies, our group really have been starting from the very beginning.

When we first got together, ‘starting from scratch’ was a key part of our collective brief. All production choices made so far and to be made in the coming weeks will spring from what happens in our rehearsal room.

In the usual theatre-making process, for Shakespeare’s Globe and many other companies, more often than not these decisions are made months before rehearsals start, often months before the production is even cast. For our #GlobeEnsemble, this process really did begin as a completely blank canvas.

The rehearsal room belongs to all of us equally (the designer, the composer, the choreographer, the actors and the directors) in its entirety – it is a test tube in which everything and anything can be flung in and we can be as curious as we wish.

As we continue work, many ideas will be skimmed off, some will dissolve and be completely forgotten… but some powerful ideas will form crystals and be eventually assembled into final productions that we welcome you to from 25 April 2018.

Unusually, this rehearsal process is also ‘open’ which means others (such as staff, students, practitioners and other directors) can sit in the room at any time to watch the plays develop. We think it can be beneficial to share rehearsal processes and experiences, especially with Shakespeare and especially when experimentation is at play. Also, the Globe Theatre is an audience-dominated playing space, more like a football stadium than a conventional theatre! The audience have a huge influence on the performance and so having a busy rehearsal room prepares us for that busy, distracted playing space.

We’ve been thinking about how else we can ‘open’ this space to you, so for the next month we’re going to be taking you inside the test tube digitally via a series of videos and photos. We want you to feel and breathe this process as much as we do. Follow the hashtag #GlobeEnsemble and get ready to see what gets thrown into the mix.

Until next time, back to work.

The #GlobeEnsemble 

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