Titus Rehearsal Blog: Viv (week 2)

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Vivienne AcheampongRehearsal blog for Titus Andronicus. This time, Vivienne Acheampong writes about week two of rehearsals, and the insights locked in her character’s enigmatic language.

After the first week of socks down pants (men, I don’t know how you do it!), aggressive tail pulling and thoughts on the play, another great week was about to commence with the lovely gents newly armed with the knowledge of which characters we would be playing. I am playing Aaron.

Early rehearsals for Titus AndronicusThe week started as it meant to go on, with a thorough analysis: looking at the characters and and translating the text. As an actor who loves Shakespeare, I still find it scary when you have to ‘translate it into modern language’. With Shakespeare, every word counts. Having a ‘gist’ is not good enough and Yaz’s precise way of working shares this ethos.

Maddy, Emma & Viv in Titus Andronicus rehearsalsOne thing that struck me early in this process when looking at Aaron, was the way he spoke. We know that Shakespeare’s text is already wonderful and rich with imagery, but I found something very intriguing about the way Aaron uses language. It’s is often immersed with with powerful images of nature and thoughts-within-thoughts – its very poetic.

Now maybe I’m looking at this ‘through character tinted eyes’ (can’t all Shakespeare’s language be described as poetic?) but it got me thinking. Here’s a man, a black man who is an outsider. He is seen as different, so how has he survived? Through the power of language maybe, his ability to manipulate with his words?

Viv in Titus Andronicus - text analysis

This extensive analysis has made me fall in love with the play over again. The state of society at the time, family conflicts, status, power… and this doesn’t even touch the sides. It’s so much more than just blood and guts and I can’t wait to get going!

Viv and Stella at a Paint rehearsalQuestions I’m thinking about this week

  •  Is Aaron really ‘just evil?’
  •  Does he really love Tamora?
  •  How does he view himself within society?
  •  How do I beat Fran at the tail game!!!??
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