Titus Rehearsal Blog: Fran’s Diary (week 1)

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Fran in Rehearsal for TitusExtracts from Francesca Binefa‘s rehearsal diary, charting week #1 of the rehearsal process for Titus Andronicus.

Day 1

We began our first rehearsal with the usual introductions… and what a fantastic bunch of diverse & talented people! The room was buzzing and we could tell straight away that Titus is going to be an amazing production.

Rehharsal exercises for Smooth Faced GentlemenAfter some exercises, we had a read-through of our first edit, with each of us reading characters chosen at random. It was great to hear the rest of the cast for the first time. Later, we discussed our thoughts on the play and jotted them down.

We haven’t yet been told who we’re each playing. Director Yaz is going to surprise us with that at the end of the week.

Day 2

Today, Yaz introduced an exercise that will be repeated throughout our process: we walk around the room as ourselves, then slowly morph into the body of a man that we know. This “Man Walk” exercise is developed on Saturday… more on that later.

Characters were then handed out at random and for 15 minutes we did our own private character analysis before joining into pairs to discuss, and work on scenes. I was given Saturninus, the newly appointed Emperor with a massive ego. Is that because I’ll be playing him, or because I’ll be playing someone close to him? We’ll have to wait and see.

Viv and Fran in Titus

To end our first session we were given topics to research and I went away with Roman politics. We are to report my findings at the next rehearsal.

Day 3

Saturday began with a few exercises.

We repeated the “Man Walk” exercise, putting ourselves in the head of two different men we know. But then it was developed by stuffing a pair of socks down our crotches… and I am pleased that I happen to have an extra thick pair with me! We discussed our thoughts on this bulging presence. It helped me to understand why men need to adjust from time to time. It is very distracting being constantly aware of your genitals!

We also played a trust game which proved to be very interesting. One of a pair is blindfolded and led around the room. I was acutely aware of my surroundings and listened to my partner’s lead, who was also very mindful of me, and gave me clear directions. But when we morphed into our male counterparts, chaos ensued! Although we both became more confident moving around the room, less care was taken and I bumped my head on two occasions!

I later found out who my guide was. I won’t mention any names but I will tell you she played Romeo in our last production.

Exploring the Themes in Titus AndronicusLater that day we discussed our research. It was really interesting learning about Roman military, Roman society, Goth civilisation and the current politics in Egypt. This led us nicely on to a discussion on the main themes of Titus: a couple that were agreed on were “politics” and “revenge”.

Our first week was rounded up by a social drink at the Tabard which went on well into the evening! Is this a sign of things to come?


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  • […] Francesca Binefa – Saturninus / Nurse Trained at GSA, and award-nominated for her performance as the Nurse in Romeo & Juliet. She’s also our head of education, and a regular collaborator with our co-conspirators Three’ s Company. Read what Fran thought of the first week of rehearsals → […]

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