To begin with, some props I ordered came in the mail yesterday.
As I have mentioned in previous posts, I felt that Buckingham, introverted intellectual that he is in my interpretation, should carry with him some sort of touchstone. Something to fiddle with while engaged in thought, or just while waiting for the next aspect of things to unfold. I considered several ideas, but went with a chess piece. A rook, specifically, because symbolically it seemed to make the most sense.
I didn't want them to look cheap. Buckingham would probably own very nice chess sets. These pieces are solid plastic, but do appear ivory or perhaps marble from stage distance, even in our tiny venue. Not the fanciest design ever, but for 75 cents a piece, you can't really beat it. I didn't want to risk damaging or losing one from a complete set, so I ordered individual rooks. (Which was more difficult than one might have expected.) Two of course, in case one does in fact become a casualty. I don't expect that to happen, however. It will be on the prop shelf, and if everyone behaves themselves and doesn't play with props, I will have it in my hand as soon as I enter the stage area, and likely not relinquish it until the end of each evening.
They may be slightly large, but they probably need to be in order for the audience to understand what it is. I have been getting used to moving one around in my hand and playing with it. I think it will do just fine, and the director approved it last night.
In addition to new rooks, we also have a new king. Of the living, breathing kind. The newest member of our cast was on hand last night to rehearse Edward IV single scene. I worked with this gentleman years ago in "The Crucible", which he did recall when I brought it up to him.
The scene went well, given that we have not rehearsed it much. In it, the sickly Edward makes "peace" between the bickering factions within his court. Then the death of Clarence is revealed, and the king gives an excellent monologue, shaming all of those present for not standing up against him for Clarence. If I had only been able to have a small part in this play, I may have requested this one because of this speech.
Also significant in this scene as we are playing it, the first stirrings of alliance between Richard and Buckingham. Previous to this they know each other and may have some degree of respect for one another, but have not yet plotted together. Yet with Richard's final line in this scene directed at Buckingham, who is the only one left on stage at that time, we see the partnership forming. The next time we see these two men they have already devised "complots" off stage.
We also rehearsed the dumb show that opens the play, wherein Richard and Clarence crown Edward, as the rest of the cast silently makes its way onto the stage before the opening speech. (A creation of the director.) I believe last night marked the highest percentage of the cast present at one time thus far. (One actress was missing, and the role of Rivers has yet to be cast, but otherwise everyone was there, I think.)
I left early, because then it was time for some combat rehearsal, and I have no combat in this play. I stuck around to watch how a few of the murders would be staged, and then headed out.
Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend tonight's rehearsal of Act V, due to a long standing previous commitment, and nor will I be able to attend on Monday. I feel bad for this, especially since my favorite speech is in Act V. They good news, however, as that after Monday, all of my predicted conflicts will be over, and I will not have to miss any further rehearsals. I feel a little better about it given that the last two Mondays, both of which were originally conflicts, we able to be shuffled about to allow me to rehearse.
Plus, I am officially off book. I will have to call for line in a few places, but it's all in my head somewhere now. The true fun and excitement begins once the books are out of hands, and I look forward to jumping into that aspect of rehearsal head first come Tuesday.