Deaths of Kings

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Deaths of Kings, d’après les pièces historiques de Shakespeare.

De Richard II à Richard III, dans un montage et une mise en scène de John Adams pour un spectacle en Traverse Stage.

Le Traverse stage est un dispositif bi-frontal dans lequel une troupe de
huit à dix comédiens assume à vue et en direct la technique du spectacle,
les changements de costumes et de personnages, ainsi que la musique de scène (dispositif inauguré par John Adams dans les années 1970 au Traverse Theatre d’Edimbourg, et qu’il utilise presque toujours depuis, notamment pour des versions concentrées et haletantes des pièces de Shakespeare qui mêlent suspense politique et surnaturel.)

Version bilingue français anglais, 8 à 12 comédiens anglais et français / bilingues.

The Instant Mix Workshop production will be presented in Traverse format., and directed by John Adams, who writes :

I worked at the original Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh (« a long, low-ceilinged first-floor room barely 15ft wide by 8ft high”) in 1967, and have been using the traverse format when appropriate and possible ever since.
In the past 15 years, I have evolved a style of theatre which uses traverse staging and develops the skills of companies of actors. Some of my early experiments were at RADA, but I have since continued to develop these techniques not only there, but in a number of Britain’s leading Drama Schools, and in productions in England, Wales, France and Singapore.
These workshops and productions develop and depend on the acting skills and performance
techniques of a close-knit company of actors.
All the actors are on stage throughout the show. They occupy designated seating in both front rows of the Traverse. This means entrances and exits are immediate, which leads to a fast and surprising production. It also means they are all available all the time to support the show.
When deriving this technique, I intended to give all members of any company lots to do – actors
learn nothing by sitting in the dressing room. So the company is fully involved throughout the
show. As well as acting the characters in the play, they make all the background sounds – sheep,
airplanes, trains, crowds, angels, babies, ghosts and so on – and create all the music. If any
company members have special musical skills, this can be valuable, but the music is created with a variety of instruments – for instance woodblocks, a toy glockenspiel, Tubular Bells, full-size and miniature, a Swanee Whistle, Large Cymbals, a football rattle, drums of various sizes, triangles, a policeman’s whistle and so on. Perhaps a violin, a clarinet a flute. Above all a specially devised Piano Harp – an upright piano with all the mechanism removed, leaving a large sound harp.
With this orchestra, the company can provide a complex musical score to colour and drive the
action – even if no member of the company has special musical skills. Rhythm and imagination are needed. Good singing – especially in harmony – and instruments will vary the musical texture when available and appropriate.
I arrange all the music and create the score in the rehearsals, inspired and helped by the company.
This score is then combined with movement, dance, story-telling, and ritual, implied and real, in an intimate and dynamic space.
A production in Traverse must be dynamic and mobile – the Americans call it Tennis Court,
because in a good production the audience watches the event moving from end to end, as in a good game of tennis.
Theatre tells stories. Traverse is especially effective presenting journeys, and long-distance and close-up confrontation. My productions always employ ritual, real and implied. Theatre is a holy space.
For the audience the event is intimate. They are very close to the action.
And voyeuristic. The audience watches the show, and watches another audience watching the show. And surprising. The constant display of skills by the company is very enjoyable.

This technique works very well with Shakespeare – Hamlet, Cymbeline, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, and with major epic plays. For instance, I’ve presented Lorca’s Yerma, The Storm by Ostrovsky, and Eastward Ho. It’s also good with novels – working well with Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Laclos,and Elizabeth Gaskell”s Mary Barton.
For Instant Mix we will devise a new production.