Clip description Keywords
Hamlet: 'To be or not to be?'
Hamlet: 'To be or not to be?'

Duration: 03:10

'To be or not to be?' Actor David Tennant and director Gregory Doran explore the meaning and playing of the famous speech from Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'.

 
Hamlet: his humanity
Hamlet: his humanity

Duration: 02:57

'What a piece of work is a man?' David Tennant and Gregory Doran talk about both the wit and emotional depth of Hamlet's humanity.

 
Julius Caesar - Theatre production film
Julius Caesar - Theatre production film

Duration: 04:34

Gregory Doran, the production's director, discusses some of the influences on this African production and actors consider the play's contemporary relevance.

 
Julius Caesar: Act 1 Scene 2 - Marking the words
Julius Caesar: Act 1 Scene 2 - Marking the words

Duration: 03:51

Using a rehearsal game, the actors discover key points in Cassius's speech about Caesar and the future of Rome. They relate these to Cassius's strategy for winning Brutus over to the conspirators.

 
Julius Caesar: Act 1 Scene 2 - Persuading Brutus
Julius Caesar: Act 1 Scene 2 - Persuading Brutus

Duration: 04:59

A classic rehearsal exercise is used to investigate and break down the tactics Cassius uses to persuade Brutus to join the plot to assassinate Caesar.

 
Julius Caesar: Act 1 Scene 2: Cassius and Brutus
Julius Caesar: Act 1 Scene 2: Cassius and Brutus

Duration: 04:09

Paterson Joseph, playing Brutus, and Cyril Nri as Cassius explore in detail what each character is trying to achieve in this early confrontation.

 
Julius Caesar: Act 3 Scene 1 - Killing Caesar
Julius Caesar: Act 3 Scene 1 - Killing Caesar

Duration: 04:44

The actors use the clues in the text to build their unique interpretation of Caesar's murder.

 
Julius Caesar: Act 3 Scene 1 - Leader or Dictator
Julius Caesar: Act 3 Scene 1 - Leader or Dictator

Duration: 05:10

The actors investigate how to play the character of Julius Caesar and explore the dramatic purpose of the action just before the murder.

 
Julius Caesar: Act 3 Scene 1 - The murder scene
Julius Caesar: Act 3 Scene 1 - The murder scene

Duration: 06:41

The conspirators isolate Caesar on the way to the Senate and, as they have planned, Metallus Cimber presents his petition. Caesar's egocentric refusal sets off the brutal assassination.

 
Julius Caesar: Act 3 Scene 2 - Anthony moves the crowd
Julius Caesar: Act 3 Scene 2 - Anthony moves the crowd

Duration: 05:11

The citizens explore their responses to Antony's speech. The actors then explain why the citizens turn away from Brutus to support Antony. This entirely alters the course of the play.

 
Julius Caesar: Act 3 Scene 2 - Brutus reasons with the crowd
Julius Caesar: Act 3 Scene 2 - Brutus reasons with the crowd

Duration: 04:05

The individual and collective character of the citizens is developed through a practical exercise as they respond to Brutus’s funeral speech.

 
Julius Caesar: Act 3 Scene 2 - Rhetoric and Politics
Julius Caesar: Act 3 Scene 2 - Rhetoric and Politics

Duration: 06:39

The two funeral speeches are compared, each set against the structures of rhetoric. Why is Antony's the more effective when Brutus had previously won them over?

 
Julius Caesar: Act 3 Scene 2 - The orations scene
Julius Caesar: Act 3 Scene 2 - The orations scene

Duration: 06:46

Brutus explains to the crowd why the conspirators killed Caesar and then insists they stay to hear Mark Antony. Antony gives an emotional eulogy over the dead body of his friend.

 
Julius Caesar: Act I Scene 2 - Cassius and Brutus street scene
Julius Caesar: Act I Scene 2 - Cassius and Brutus street scene

Duration: 07:20

Cassius confronts Brutus about his friend's uncharacteristic coldness. When Cassius is reassured on this count he reveals his own fear of Caesar's growing power, probes Brutus's feelings on the matter, and tries to persuade him that something must be done about Caesar.

 
Macbeth - about the 2011 RSC production
Macbeth - about the 2011 RSC production

Duration: 04:18

Michael Boyd and Tom Piper talk about the way in which the stage design was informed by the time when Macbeth was written: the Protestant Reformation and one year after the Gunpowder plot.

 
Macbeth: Act 1 Scene 7 - Persuading Macbeth (workshop)
Macbeth: Act 1 Scene 7 - Persuading Macbeth (workshop)

Duration: 06:36

Lady Macbeth persuades her husband to change his mind. The cast explore different ways of performing the scene.

 
Macbeth: Act 1 Scene 7 - To kill the King
Macbeth: Act 1 Scene 7 - To kill the King

Duration: 05:53

Macbeth debates the murder of King Duncan and decides against it. Lady Macbeth uses a battery of strategies to change his mind.

 
Macbeth: Act 1 Scene 7 - To kill the King (workshop)
Macbeth: Act 1 Scene 7 - To kill the King (workshop)

Duration: 07:13

Michael Boyd and Jonathan Slinger rehearse Macbeth’s soliloquy and unpick key images from the speech about why he must not kill the King.

 
Macbeth: Act 2 Scene 2 - Bloody daggers
Macbeth: Act 2 Scene 2 - Bloody daggers

Duration: 04:43

Macbeth has committed the murder and is overcome with guilt and fear. Lady Macbeth tries to re-assure him and oversee the unfinished business. A knocking at the door unsettles them both.

 
Macbeth: Act 2 Scene 2 - Hearing noises (workshop)
Macbeth: Act 2 Scene 2 - Hearing noises (workshop)

Duration: 05:48

Macbeth's guilty conscience causes him to hear terrifying sounds. He cannot say 'Amen'. The cast explore how Lady Macbeth takes control of the situation.

 
Macbeth: Act 2 Scene 2 - Rhythm of the language (workshop)
Macbeth: Act 2 Scene 2 - Rhythm of the language (workshop)

Duration: 05:31

The cast discuss iambic pentameter and explore the rhythms of Shakespeare's language. The rhythm of the lines creates an atmosphere of urgency and desperation.

 
Macbeth: Act 2 Scene 2 - The King is dead (workshop)
Macbeth: Act 2 Scene 2 - The King is dead (workshop)

Duration: 06:04

The actors and director explore the Macbeths' very different responses to Duncan's murder. They try different ways of playing the escalating conflict between the two characters.

 
Macbeth: Act 5 Scene 1 -  Unlocking the words (workshop)
Macbeth: Act 5 Scene 1 - Unlocking the words (workshop)

Duration: 05:31

RSC Head of Voice Lyn Darnley helps Aislin McGuckin highlight what Lady Macbeth is seeing, hearing and smelling, to make sense of her seemingly disconnected words.

 
Macbeth: Act 5 Scene 1 - Candle in the dark (workshop)
Macbeth: Act 5 Scene 1 - Candle in the dark (workshop)

Duration: 03:57

The director and actors experiment with the staging of the sleepwalking scene. What happens to the relationships when the whole of the scene is played in a small circle of light?

 
Macbeth: Act 5 Scene 1 - Sleepwalking
Macbeth: Act 5 Scene 1 - Sleepwalking

Duration: 03:57

The doctor and Lady-in-Waiting witness Lady Macbeth sleepwalking. Mottled lighting and a gloomy set create an oppressive atmosphere. Lady Macbeth appears haunted by remorse.

 
Macbeth: Act 5 Scene 1 - Sleepwalking Queen (workshop)
Macbeth: Act 5 Scene 1 - Sleepwalking Queen (workshop)

Duration: 05:32

The director works with the cast to explore how knowledge of Lady Macbeth's dark secret changes the lives of the doctor and lady in waiting.

 
Romeo and Juliet - about the 2011 RSC production
Romeo and Juliet - about the 2011 RSC production

Duration: 07:28

The cast discuss acting, directing and prop choices for this production. They explore how the choice of weapons, accent and costume changes how they interpret their characters.

 
Romeo and Juliet: Act 2 Scene 2 - Juliet's soliloquy (workshop)
Romeo and Juliet: Act 2 Scene 2 - Juliet's soliloquy (workshop)

Duration: 06:56

Actors Mariah Gale and Sam Troughton explore the problem of Romeo’s name and Juliet's solution: should Romeo change his name, or marry her so that she can change hers?

 
Romeo and Juliet: Act 2 Scene 2 - Lovers unite (workshop)
Romeo and Juliet: Act 2 Scene 2 - Lovers unite (workshop)

Duration: 06:49

Romeo has put his life in danger by entering the Capulet orchard. Mariah Gale and Sam Troughton discuss their characters' response to this danger and explore differing ways of playing the scene.

 
Romeo and Juliet: Act 2 Scene 2 - Romeo's soliloquy (workshop)
Romeo and Juliet: Act 2 Scene 2 - Romeo's soliloquy (workshop)

Duration: 05:33

Actor Sam Troughton discusses how Romeo has no plan if he’s discovered in the Capulet garden. He explores Romeo’s language and how Juliet is compared to sources of light and an angel.

 
Romeo and Juliet: Act 2 Scene 2 - The balcony
Romeo and Juliet: Act 2 Scene 2 - The balcony

Duration: 09:59

Romeo steals into the Capulet garden to find Juliet on her bedroom balcony, talking to herself. Romeo makes his presence known. Overcome with love, they agree to marry, despite the feud between their families.

 
Romeo and Juliet: Act 3 Scene 1 - Death of Mercutio (workshop)
Romeo and Juliet: Act 3 Scene 1 - Death of Mercutio (workshop)

Duration: 09:31

Assistant Director Michael Fentiman discusses ambiguity in Shakespeare’s text. Jonjo O’Neil explores ways of delivering Mercutio’s dying scene; playing bravado and then showing fear.

 
Romeo and Juliet: Act 3 Scene 1 - Spoiling for a fight (workshop)
Romeo and Juliet: Act 3 Scene 1 - Spoiling for a fight (workshop)

Duration: 06:27

The company discuss Shakespeare's language and the reason for the fight. Mercutio plays with words, making Tybalt feel foolish. Romeo attempts to be a peacemaker which disarms Tybalt and infuriates Mercutio.

 
Romeo and Juliet: Act 3 Scene 1 - The fight
Romeo and Juliet: Act 3 Scene 1 - The fight

Duration: 06:38

Young men from the Montague and Capulet families fight with tragic consequences. Romeo attempts to stop the brawl but Tybalt fatally wounds Mercutio. Mercutio dies cursing both their families.

 
Romeo and Juliet: Act 3 Scene 5 - A family argument (workshop)
Romeo and Juliet: Act 3 Scene 5 - A family argument (workshop)

Duration: 05:50

Richard Katz explores Lord Capulet's emotions, discussing how he switches from loving father to violent rage when Juliet disobeys his wishes.

 
Romeo and Juliet: Act 3 Scene 5 - An arranged marriage (workshop)
Romeo and Juliet: Act 3 Scene 5 - An arranged marriage (workshop)

Duration: 06:43

Mariah Gale as Juliet repeats the most important words from Lady Capulet's speech. The actors discuss how Juliet feels trapped by the arranged marriage and they try different ways of interpreting the text.

 
Romeo and Juliet: Act 3 Scene 5 - Juliet is abandoned (workshop)
Romeo and Juliet: Act 3 Scene 5 - Juliet is abandoned (workshop)

Duration: 05:22

The actors look at how Juliet becomes increasingly isolated, from her mother, her father, and finally her nurse.

 
Romeo and Juliet: Act 3 Scene 5 - The family
Romeo and Juliet: Act 3 Scene 5 - The family

Duration: 07:51

Lady Capulet tells Juliet she is to marry Paris. Following a dramatic argument Juliet pretends to go along with the marriage plans before arranging to see Friar Laurence.

 

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