Welcome to my Little Angel Tempest blog! My name is Brett Brown and I am an actor in Little Angel and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of The Tempest. Over the next few weeks I’ll share with you some of my experiences as we prepare and perform our play at Little Angel Theatre.
First, let me introduce the cast: Ruth Calkin is the jesting Trinculo and good old lord Gonzalo. Jonny Dixon is King as Alonzo and monster as Caliban. David Fielder, who is certainly the pillar of our cast and godfather to all of us, plays Prospero. Anneika Rose is admired Miranda. Christopher Staines gets to jump between purity and evil as Ferdinand and Antonio. Jonny Storey (also Little Angel’s associate artist) puppeteers Ariel, one of the most beautiful puppets you’ll ever have flying over your head (he also has the honour of being Caliban’s back legs!). And me, Sebastian and Stephano.
We’re just back from a brilliant whirlwind of a time in The Swan theatre at The RSC in Stratford-upon-Avon. Puppets and actors alike dashed around the stage for three weeks of what felt like theatre bliss.
Now with only 10 days until our London Press night we’re about to step onto the stage of Little Angel for a week of technical rehearsals.
Last week, with our Stratford-upon-Avon withdrawals kicking in, we started to rework the play in the windowless Stoke Newington rehearsal room in which we all first met some two months earlier. Nostalgia, mixed with a caffeine rush from The Spence Bakery or the Palour Café (depending on where our allegiance lay that day) soon gave way to the scrutiny of the fluorescent lights and we were back in the world of the play, picking it apart and slowly finding a way to tell our story of magic, betrayal, love and mystery on a much, much smaller stage.
Costumes were flying, lines were changing, props were moving, music was written, seagulls were squawking and Caliban and Ariel seemed to have grown to about twice the size they had been in The Swan.
After a few days of rehearsing we started to run the whole show. We would still tweak and tune and change and create – and I’m sure that will continue right through this week as we find our feet on the Little Angel stage.
Stay tuned, because I think we’re onto something very exciting.
The Tempest is playing at the Little Angel from 9th April – 15th May. For tickets and information see our website.