Something what I was not aware of and did not include on my action plan was that today was an audition day. This then meant that unless called, we were not called into college and as only the year one students were called, I was not needed in college. The other year two students were not coming in until the evening to rehearse for an open day, however, as I had an Amado rehearsal, I could not rehearse.
I decided that although I wouldn’t be able to rehearse in the evening and was not needed at college, I would focus on Saint Joan at home. At the moment, I have put a lot more rehearsal time into Shopping and F***ing and not enough with this monologue, which I was worried would happen. Therefore, the purpose was to look at the monologue, with the aim of deciding to make any more changes, and start rehearsing it. In my work in progress presentation, I told everyone that I was planning to change it a third time, because when I made the previous cuts, I had not read the play. Now that I have read it, I feel that there are some parts which should not have been cut, Joan is a fellow soldier who believes that she was called on by God to fight for the French against the English. So the section of the monologue: “I could do without my warhorse, I could drag about in a skirt”, is something that shows the audience her fighting character and should therefore, be included.
Here is the cut I made just before Easter:
Here is my final cut:
“Perpetual imprisonment! Am I not then to be set free? My voices were right. Yes: they told me you were fools, and that I was not to listen to your fine words not trust your charity. You promised me my life; but you lied. You think that life is nothing but not being stone dead. But to shut me from the light of the sky and the sight of the fields and flowers; to chain my feet so that I can never again ride with the soldiers nor climb the hills; to make me breathe foul damp darkness and keep me from everything that brings me back to the love of God when your wickedness and foolishness tempt me to hate him. I could do without my warhorse, I could drag about in a skirt. If only I could still hear the wind in the trees, the larks in the sunshine, the blessed church bells that send my angel voices floating to me on the wind. But without these things I cannot live; and by your wanting to take them from me, or from any human creature, I know that your counsel is of the devil, and that mine is of God. His ways are not your ways. That is my last word to you.”
Although I have only made small changes, I felt that they were necessary to fit with the story of this character, I have also added the final sentence: “That is my last word to you”. I thought I could speak out to the audience and those on stage, before walking out, as the previous line would have been her last word to them. I now feel more relaxed about the monologue as I now have a final cutting, I had already started learning the monologue before I cut it, however, I had been struggling as I would always struggle on certain lines. I found that when I started learning the monologue this morning with the final cut that I was more able to get the monologue mostly learned. I think that this is because I was in a quiet environment with no distractions or worries about someone disrupting me. Although I was able to get a lot of the monologue learned, there are still some sections in the middle which I struggled with, seen below in this rehearsal footage:
As for the blocking, I always had the idea that I wanted minimal movement as I was on stage, I will be talking to everyone in the theatre so my current idea was to ensure that I make eye contact with everyone as if Saint Joan is talking to them. I will make the odd movement forward when there are passionate sections of the piece, particularly the section: “But to shut me from the light of the sky…”, then I can accuse them of this to really catch their attention. Sometime next week, I want to try and have the chance to explain this and show the tutors my thoughts as it will be so minimal, but personally, I don’t think that it needs any more.
The use of small movements to get closer to the audience is inspiration from my cabaret research when looking at the ‘London Cabaret Club’ and the quote to get in the audience’s faces. As I will be on a stage I won’t be able to do that, but I will try to get as close as possible to everyone on stage as well as the audience.
Overall, I am glad that I have finally had the chance to really focus on this monologue, as the show will be in three weeks, it is important that I have this fully learned by next week, especially as the week after is Bonnie and Clyde, which I have mentioned in all of my action plan timetables. I have also spoken to Sian about Shopping and F***ing and have agreed to meet to rehearse either tomorrow or Thursday.