Friday, 13 March 2009

Vagabond Flag.

Here's the second entry from our Made in Drama St.Mary's brochure. This time dealing with Ian's Vagabond Flag project. We've included it as a brief interview.

Award winning classical actor Ian Hughes joined the staff of Drama St. Mary’s in the summer of 2008, primarily to oversee the acting tuition across all the programmes. He didn’t waste any time anytime, however, in starting an exciting research project to feed curriculum developments.

What is Vagabond Flag?

The idea is to create and actor-lead exploration of the rehearsal processes that Elizabethan and Jacobean actors underwent. I’ll start our work with Shakespeare’s Folio of 1623, but also work with the earlier Quarto versions of the texts and see if we can find a process that can make them vivid, exciting and vital in performance.

So this isn’t just historical research?

Well I want to create a theatre ensemble of experienced, professional actors and see if we can reclaim control of our craft. I hope we’ll understand more about how Elizabethan companies prepared and worked, but I also hope the work will have a direct impact on how Shakespeare is perceived and performed today. The academic research is fascinating and important but I really hope that in working with exciting and experienced classical performers we might discover a new flavour or two that will contribute to current practice.

Who are you working with on the project?

The RSC, who I have a long association with as an actor and the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford are both very excited by the work and I hope I’ll be able to eventually share some of our findings in Stratford upon Avon next year. Nick Hutchinson is joining me as artistic advisor. He’s an expert on original stage practice and works for The Globe Theatre as well as having an international profile as an academic. First of all though we’ll play at St. Mary’s and open up the research to colleagues and the students.

For more information about this project please contact Ian on:

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