Wednesday, 23 March 2016

The Grassroots Way: Emily Jane Kerr on the first week of rehearsals

I'm currently on my way to day 5 of rehearsals. 

We've blocked the whole show. 

We managed to sing in 4 part harmony within 2 hours of meeting each other for the first time on the first day. 

We've got 5 more days- oh yes, a small point: 10 days rehearsal then we open Twelfth Night at the Leicester Square Theatre for a 6 week run.

Some might think it madness but I think the Grassroots way is an incredibly freeing way to work. For those that don't know, we have no director. For some actors that might be scary but I love it! Rather than one person's idea you end up with 10 other ideas that could be equally brilliant: what a gift! So many choices! 

We all have ownership over every single bit of the show and the life of the play carries on off stage. You can only scratch the surface in 10 days; you can dig for the story, block the show, create the arc: but actually the playing and discovery happens during the run. And that makes for a very exciting show. 

Emily Jane Kerr and Grassroots Shakespeare
Producer Siobhán Daly extreme  flyering for Twelfth Night,
52m above London!
Do I have concerns and worries? Of course I do. 

But do I feel like I can bring them to the group? Absolutely. 

It's a very specific way of working that requires a very specific type of person: creative, caring, generous, playful, brave and receptive. 

That's a Grassroots person. 

And we've got 17 of those people (including our producer and creatives)... How lucky am I to be surrounded by that much joy for 8 weeks?

Benjamin Bonar, Emily Jane Kerr and Kit Loyd
performing Shakespeare 52m above London for
Shakespeare 400.

Emily Jane Kerr is an Associate Artist of Grassroots Shakespeare London and has performed in A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest and Othello with the company. In Twelfth Night, she will be playing Maria from 5th April - 14th May. On Saturday 26th March, she will be performing scenes from Shakespeare, Up at the O2, 52m above London, as part of the Shakespeare 400 celebrations.