Zoom Readings and Workshops, 2020.
In 2020 thanks to zoom we were able to have two workshops of Mechanicals. The first during lockdown 1.0 which was a chat and a discussion of the working draft. Extensive redrafting and rewriting was then followed by a full zoom read through in December.
Jonathan Cobb, Elliot Borneman, Jeannie Dickenson, Mary Roubos, Franesca Burgoyne, Victorine Pontillon.
Kate Sketchley, John Last, Jonathn Cobb, Jackson Pentland, Elliot Borneman, Emma Mulkern, Victorine Pontillon
Readings and workshops 2019.
In 2019 as part of a Year of Making residency at Space Clarence Mews - Mechanicals had a reading of the first half of the script and a discussion/workshop.
This was the first time this much text had been read through in one go and was a hugely helpful workshop in hearing the voices in the space. It also gave a really tangible sense of shape and scale to the script and the arcs of each character.
Francesca Burgoyne, Jackson Pentland, Elliott Bornemann, Owen Clarke, Naomi Joseph, Mary Roubos and Molly Small.
Further R&D workshops, 2018.
Mechanicals is truly an ensemble show - there is no clear protagonist that drives the plot and it is suitable anarchic in how it moves forward. Structurally it is also very complex with the layering in of Macbeth text and structure; and the less obvious Midsummer structures.
Director Victorine and I were keen to experiment, improvise and use players to play. Our 2018 workshop specifically focused in on the 'shadow play' where Macbeth is being performed for the King but we see the Mechanicals backstage as they perform it. Structurally this reflects Pyramus and Thisbe in Midsummer but it also has a clear climax of action in the 'conspiracy' plot of why they are doing Macbeth.
Much of the improv, energy and devising of this scene ended up in the script and it was a great injection of ensemble energy.
Jonathan Cobb, Jackson Pentland, Mary Roubos, Francesca Burgoyne, Jeannie Dickinson, Megan Lloyd-Jones.
Criterion Showcase - Oct, 2017.
Directed by Victorine Pontillon.
A 30min extract of Mechanicals' Macbeth was performed at the Criterion Theatre in October 2017 for the Criterion New Writing Showcase. This is run by the Criterion New Writing Program to showcase graduates of the course and give writers a chance to have work performed on a mainstage platform.
This was a brilliant opportunity to test the scale and ambition of the piece early on big stage and in front of a big audience.
Snout performed by Francesca Burgoyne.
Snug performed by Kate Sketchley.
Bottom performed by Jackson Pentland.
Flute performed by Jonathan Cobb.
Starveling performed by Jeannie Dickinson.
Quince performed by Owen Clarke.
Costume: Neil Gordon.
Set: Pete Morton and Victorine Pontillon.
Photo credit: Benjamin Graham.
Early R&D & Rehearsals 2017.
.The structure and layers of Mechanicals Macbeth is quite complex - with seven characters and it being an ensemble driven piece it has been developed from the beginning with many brains and bodies in room.
These sessions across 2017 were instrumental (alongside the showcase) in developing early versions of the script and establishing characters within the ensemble.
Early R&D contributors:
Kate Sketchley, Emma Shaw, Jackson Petland, Shelley Knowles-Dixon, Jeannie Dickinson, Kathlyn-Nicole Milne, Jodi Burgess and Ivana Infurna, Fransesca Burgoyne, Jackson Pentland, Jonathan Cobb
A Witches Extract.
Written by Tilly Lunken
Directed by Victorine Pontillon
Produced by Attila Theatre for Pop Up Shakespeare Summer, 2017.
Flute performed by Jonathan Edward Cobb.
Snout performed by Kate Sketchley.
Starveling performed by Yvan Karlsson.
Mechanicals' Macbeth - a Witches Extract was performed as part of Attila Theatre's Pop Up Shakespeare as part of Crouch End Festival. It was part of a series of different scenes that popped up along the Parkland Walk. This was an early test of what was then the opening scene of the play and it was great to test in front of audiences and also outside - dogs and all!