On Friday we ran most of Act V. Though because there were more people present for this rehearsal than any we have had yet, (though still not everyone), we went back and ran my big scene from Act III once. The one wherein the crowd comes to see Richard to "convince" him to be king. We went over that just once, so the notion of the crowd was clear, before we moved on to Act V.
I open Act V as Buckingham, who is about to be executed. This short but significant scene contains my favorite monologue among Buckingham's lines. (I have spoken of it here many times.) It will mark a moment of slowly down, temporarily, amid action that like a falling roller coaster has increased in speed in an almost constant manner since returning from our intermission. I still have work to do on this speech, as I think I am delivering it too casually still. I don't want to weigh down the proceedings, and I don't want it to be too sentimental, yet I do want Buckingham a moment of realization that I am yet sure I am revealing in the speech.
We then worked the ghost scene, wherein Richard's dead victims come back to haunt him on the night before the big battle. I wasn't quite off book for that at the time, but I am now. It should be a memorable scene. We are not overdoing it with ghost make up. In fact the make up the director plans for the ghosts is minimal. Just enough to make it clear the characters are now dead. The blocking of the scene, however, could be powerful, with various characters grabbing at the sleeping Richard. Except for myself. Buckingham's ghost will address Richard from the same spot in the theatre that I stand when Buckingham is pleading with Richard to take the crown. A nice way to hearken back to that moment, I suppose.
The director also has plans for the ghosts to return at the very end of the play, which they do not in Shakespeare. We ran that briefly, as there is nothing complicated about it. Hopefully, however, it will leave a lasting impact on the audience.
At this point I estimate that I am about 70% off book for this play. I am off for almost all of my smaller scenes, with the exception of a few tricky spots in one of them. The huge scene I keep talking about is the one that I will have to work on the most between now and next week. (The deadline to be off book.) Given that we will be allowed to call for lines for some days afterward I have no reason at this time to worry. As with most plays I need to just start delivering the lines without the script even if I need to call for them for a while, just to get used to it. Yet I cannot call for them if I don't have them somewhat memorized and as I said, I have work to do on about 30% of the script in order to get to that ball park.
Today is Monday, and my schedule normally does not allow me to attend rehearsal on Mondays. However I am thinking about making an attempt to rearrange my evening to see if I can attend tonight's rehearsal after all. I'm not sure if I will be able to, but given that we are running all of Act I, I would like to at least try.