Titus Twitter Q&A

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Happy May Everyone!

You might remember, back in August, we ran a Live Twitter Q&A for our all-female production of Titus Andronicus. Well, it’s taken a little while, but we’ve managed to get it on the blog now for all to see. Have a read below.

Any other questions, or if you want to keep the discussion going, drop us a line via the comments below. In the next couple we’ll be putting out a series of posts about the theory and development of Titus – answering some common questions, and publishing some of our journal notes. So do shout with anything you’d like to hear about.

But. In the meantime, without further ado… here it is:

Tom Strasz ‏ Aug 22

#SFGqa Does yr approach to gender inform yr approach to stage violence(or reverse) Or r they diff. concepts to act/direct?

Smooth Faced Gents ‏ Aug 22

#SFGqa Good question.The fact the cast are women didn’t affect it(except desire to avoid being perceived as girly),but…

Smooth Faced Gents ‏ Aug 22

#SFGqa …but the awareness of characters’ gender was hugely influential. Fight choice came from understanding of character…

Smooth Faced Gents ‏ Aug 22

#SFGqa …(and ace choreography by @rcannie), but gender was a preoccupation in that understanding of character.

Tom Strasz ‏ Aug 22

@rcannie Great answers, will definitely have more when I get to see the show at last in York!

Rc-Annie ‏ Aug 22

@gentlemantom fight choices are driven by character & motivation, recognising actors bring their physicality to the part

Jennifer Shakesby ‏ Aug 22

#SFGqa There seems to be an emerging trend for all-female Shakespeare or cross gender casting. Why do you think this is?

Smooth Faced Gents ‏ Aug 22

#SFGqa There’s always hunger for “fresh” takes on #Shakespeare. Not sure there’s necc *more* single/cross gender casting …

Smooth Faced Gents ‏ Aug 22

#SFGqa …right now bt high profile shows eg by @donmarwarehouse spark debate (cf @guardian @lyngardner). Compare that to …

Smooth Faced Gents ‏ Aug 22

#SFGqa the semi-regular (and awesome) #allfemale shows done by @The_Globe which often don’t advertise their gender. Also…

Smooth Faced Gents ‏ Aug 22

#SFGqa …Also, obv there’s real gender inequality in theatre (and elsewhere) which people are still trying to fix, & slowly…

Smooth Faced Gents ‏ Aug 22

#SFGqa …slowly becoming more confident talking about/addressing/understanding, in society as a whole. Slowly!

Fringe Guru

#SFGqa I wrote that I saw the characters as men, and barely noticed the actors were women. Did that make you happy or sad?

Smooth Faced Gents ‏

#SFGqa VERY happy! We are actors telling a story. If the characters are portrayed well enough so that the gender…

Smooth Faced Gents ‏

#SFGqa … of the actor is forgotten, we’ve done our job!

Tom Strasz ‏

#SFGqa Abstract approach to stage violence seems to suit singlegender casting- wondering if this was deliberate?

Smooth Faced Gents ‏

#SFGqa No. But interesting point raised about abstract vs realism. Nothin to do w/ gender, but chose paint as middle ground…

Smooth Faced Gents ‏

#SFGqa …aiming for visceral brutality of blood, but with a – I guess – Brechtian spin. If you aim for true realism in…

Smooth Faced Gents ‏

#SFGqa …in violence/blood, it can sooooo easily look totally crass or gratuitous or – most likely – just rubbish!

Tom Strasz ‏

Interesting though that ‘forgetting’ gender is achievable in a way that ‘forgetting’ fake blood/fake violence might not be-

Tom Strasz ‏

Despite fact that both are clearly abstracted by you- no attempt to ‘pass’ which would also be silly.

Jennifer Shakesby ‏

#SFGqa And another… What are the interpretive possibilities of using a single gender and what challenges lie therein?

Smooth Faced Gents ‏

#SFGqa The possibilities are endless! The only challenge is overcoming prejudice and scepticism…

Smooth Faced Gents ‏

#SFGqa … – after that there’s just character and story!

Claire Morley ‏

#SFGqa are you fed up with people questioning why all female/what’s your agenda whereas all male Shakes is simply accepted?

Smooth Faced Gents ‏

#SFGqa Not fed up (always happy to discuss!) but intrigued at how often the subject is raised as an issue…

Smooth Faced Gents ‏

#SFGqa … But the boys have tradition on their side, so it was bound to take a bit of time to settle the idea with our audiences!

Claire Morley ‏

#SFGqa hopefully audiences learn that gender of character transcends gender of actor. In the end it’s down to talent 🙂

Jennifer Shakesby ‏

And again… What drew you to create an all-female company?

Smooth Faced Gents ‏

#SFGqa A gap in the market and desire to address the imbalance in the industry. Also a desire to play these incredible parts!

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