Emma Rice, new artistic director of the Globe, spoke in the Telegraph about her mission of getting rid of the idea that Shakespeare was something audiences felt that they had to endure as opposed to enjoy.
“There’s a lot of theatre, some of it Shakespeare some not, which feels like medicine. You feel like if you can get through it, you’re a better person. I have no interest in that; I can’t bear to be in a theatre that feels like medicine. I think it should be a celebration and it should be joyful and at the end you should get it.”
Accessibility is a word that she uses frequently throughout the interview in the Telegraph.
“I think I make very accessible work,” she says. “That doesn’t mean it’s not sophisticated or meaningful or intelligent, but it’s accessible.”
With regards to all her previous work, she says: “I’m always making sure the audience knows what’s happening at any given time so they’re free to feel or to respond in a personal way. My guess is that there’s an excitement that I might be able to do that with Shakespeare – open it up a bit.”
The general consensus with her appointment is that Rice is expected “to strip away generations of bafflement and bring Shakespeare really, truly, to the masses.”
Audition Doctor’s demand is also down to this commitment to making Shakespeare feel reachable, true and unforced. This begins with unpicking the text itself. Although the language can sometimes appear difficult, over the course of the sessions students often find that it no longer feels restrictive and burdensome. Instead, it conversely becomes a great help in conveying the emotion and intention of the character.
Audition Doctor is also a space where students ask questions and where they are immediately addressed.
It’s a relief to know that Rice stated: “I think I can be really rigorous in saying I don’t understand it, and I’m not ashamed to say that,” she says. “I say it all the time. I think there’s a lot of Emperor’s New Clothes in theatre: nobody wants to be the one who doesn’t understand it so nobody says they don’t. I feel that then becomes a conspiracy.”
Aside from unpacking the text, Audition Doctor’s popularity also lies in the gradual and organic method with which each student is guided to form a unique and emotionally genuine character.
Tom Hiddleston said “I suppose I’m fascinated by the private vulnerability and the exterior of people,” he says. “I think that’s an essential truth. I sort of quite like trying to find what makes people tick behind the construction of their identity.”
This is what Audition Doctor sessions are known for. Constructing an identity that is real as well as complex takes time, which is why most students attend regular weekly sessions and continue to seek Tilly’s guidance even after they land the job.