Spring into Shakespeare students take part in sessions with RSC experts

Students on the Spring into Shakespeare short course had the opportunity to take part in a series of Q&A sessions with Royal Shakespeare Company practitioners.

Two actors in Julius Caesar production

Julius Caesar, 2017, Photo by Helen Maybanks © RSC

The first session was with Alex Waldmann, who played Brutus in the RSC’s 2017 production of Julius Caesar. He discussed a range of issues, including how he worked with the director and how he prepares for performances.

The second session was with Eleanor Rhode, who directed the RSC’s 2019 production of King John.

Actress throwing money on stage during a production of King John

King John, 2019. Photo by Steve Tanner © RSC

Students on the programme described how much they enjoyed the sessions and added to their experience of studying the short course.

Emma Henderson-Boyes said “The interview with Alex was fascinating; for me as an acting coach hearing about the performance of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar from an RSC actor's point of view was inspiring. In the interview we gained an insight into rehearsals, Alex's views on creating the human element of the character (of Brutus) and theatrical techniques from rehearsals to the stage; all of which I felt Alex presented with honesty and passion throughout the interview."

Dwayne Dawson said "This session was a perfect companion to the academic study covered by the course and provided fascinating and valuable insights from someone at the performance end of Shakespeare's work".

Dan Jones said “I found it fascinating to hear the experience of performing Shakespeare from the point of view of an actor. I found it particularly interesting to hear about the dynamic engagement with scholarly opinion in the rehearsal room and how an actor mines the text to build the world of their character, fleshing out that world with details that are meaningful for themselves and audiences.”

Ilaria Diotallevi said "It was a lively and insightful discussion! What a privilege to be able to ask questions and chat with an RSC practitioner. Such a brilliant opportunity to create and nurture bridges between the worlds of academia and stage practice".

Eilish Kelly said “It brought what is involved in live performance, backstory examinations of the characters and the academic all together. Loved it.”

These sessions were organised as part of the collaboration between the Shakespeare Institute and the Royal Shakespeare Company. We run two online Shakespeare Studies short courses each year, Spring into Shakespeare and Fall in with Shakespeare.