I’m reading an article in this week’s New Yorker about Mark Rylance, the celebrated English actor and founding artistic director of the Globe Theatre in London. One of his former directors said the following about his work on stage: “He has what all great sportsmen have: he seems to have more time than anyone else.” The gist of this metaphor is that he can take this dense text, move effortlessly through it, and convey so many different ideas at once, without slowing down or confusing the audience. The work in The Lion in Winter requires that kind of layering, if it’s to be shown at it’s best. The character I play, Eleanor, is one that has so much pent-up hurt, regret, and love which the audience absolutely must know is there, but she shows it at her own peril, for it gives away her power, and leaves her even more vulnerable. She must play coolly, with effortless grace and elan, so no one will see how much she desparately needs. Well, that’s the goal. We’ll see if I get there….
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