Judi Dench recently spoke of how uninspiring teaching led her to a mental stalemate with regards to understanding some of Shakespeare’s plays early on in her career. She credited seeing the plays performed on stage, as opposed to reading “six lines each in turn, regardless of who was saying them”, with igniting her passion and understanding.
Speaking of the reluctance of many to engage with Shakespeare, Dench said: “It’s a fear, there’s a terrible fear about Shakespeare that it’s a language we don’t understand. [But] it couldn’t be easier. It’s the prejudice of things. Somebody telling you it’s hard, and the fear that you’re not going to understand it. You’re not going to be able to understand? Well that’s up to the actor.”
Gregory Doran, artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, also said: “If you’re reading Shakespeare you can get baffled by the language, but if you see actors deliver it with passion and engagement, even if you don’t pick up every word, you can follow a story and be transported to a different world.”
The importance that both place on the actor is why Audition Doctor is sought out by professional actors and drama school applicants alike. Audition Doctor students succeed in landing jobs and places at drama school because the sessions places such importance on unpicking the text. Once the language is understood, there’s a framework within which to experiment. Audition Doctor sessions encourage students to explore the myriad of ways to play the scene and students often experiment in ways that oppose one another. However, as Indira Varma said of her time rehearsing with Pinter: “If you’re truthful, nothing you do is wrong.” Of course, that has to be within the limitations of the play but it was the most liberating thing to be told.” There is no right or wrong at Audition Doctor, but Tilly will guide you to the option that shows you to be bold and above all, the one that rings the most true.
Another reason why actors, particularly those in TV, come to Audition Doctor is because of their lack of rehearsal time. Imelda Staunton spoke about the problem in this week’s Telegraph:
“That’s the thing that’s disappeared unfortunately with television is a terribly old-fashioned word called ‘rehearsing’. As if it doesn’t mean anything – ‘It doesn’t matter, you don’t need it’. Well, you do need it! And I think you need it for everything, particularly this, and thank goodness we got it. There’s no way we could have done it without. And we all mourn the days of – they were awful the BBC rehearsal rooms in Acton – but you rehearsed. You did The Singing Detective – you rehearsed it and then you did it. Like any piece of work you do, whether it’s a play or theatre or film, you don’t just turn up and go, ‘That’s what I’ve done, I’ll do that’. And it was very valuable for this and I wish more people would think about putting an extra two bob in to allow people to have a bit of time. We live in a world where we want instant things. ‘Just do it now! We want it instant, we want it good and we want it successful’. Well, the best things take time, whether it’s a very good stew or a show. The best things take time to cook and develop and I think people underestimate that. No one wants to rehearse to waste time, it saves time.”
In today’s unforgiving climate, Audition Doctor has become a rehearsal space where actors have the time to work on their parts and develop their craft. The instant success that Staunton speaks of is nigh on impossible to achieve without professional direction, hard graft and time – all of which Audition Doctor provides.