Performing the Queen's Men

Famous Victories: To the Court

The Conversion Scene

Tavern Stage Performance

The remainder of the scene (see video below) was relatively straight forward from the point of view of traffic on the stage. The prince exits after his long speech and then speaks without a stage direction to mark his re-entrance, but this can be easily resolved by having him re-enter before his line. We did have an issue here with our blocking protocol which dictated the prince should exit stage right...

Video

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Edward Video 2
Blocking Protocol 1

What's the problem?

The king was placed stage right to allow the prince to enter stage left and address him directly but this meant that the prince’s false exit took place behind the king’s sick chair and when the prince re-entered most of the audience did not have a clear view of him. It was also clumsy having him cross behind his father as he exited the stage. The prince is feeling deep remorse for his behavior and it seemed a little disrespectful to walk past the king in this way.

University Stage Performance

We addressed this awkward exit in our later performances once the company had become more confident with the play and more flexible in their approach to blocking. Working on the University Stage we decided to have the prince exit stage left after his conversion speech and re-enter stage left, much like the porter did earlier in the scene on the other side of the stage...

Video

Edward Video 2
Blocking Protocol 2

Learning Through Experience...

Our simple blocking protocol was designed to avoid actors bumping into each other at the entrances and exits. In instances where characters exit and then quickly re-enter we realized they could safely exit and re-enter from the same curtain. As the productions developed in performance we found more cases where this gave better clarity to the flow of the scenes and the logic of the imagined space but instances where this was necessary were quite rare and for the most part our simple blocking protocol worked perfectly well. In this scene, the new blocking was more effective due to the double benefit that the king and the prince can see each other at the moment of his re-entry and the fact that the audience gained a clear line of sight on the prince.

Further Exploration

You may have noticed that the king is using a sick chair that can be wheeled on and off the stage even though there are no stage directions indicating the use of such a chair.

Explore the thought process behind the king's sick chair in another interactive module.

Examine stage direction problems from the other two plays independently.

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