A play you know, in a style you don’t

Performed using ‘cue script’ preparation in the style of the Bard’s own actors. This seat-of-the-pants approach to Shakespeare takes the audience on a journey of discovery with the actors as they live the play for the first time, moment to moment.

One year on from their first fully cue-scripted production, Two Gentlemen of Verona (‘Shakespeare that feels new and fresh’ – The Independent), the salon:collective’s actors are about to throw themselves deeper into uncharted waters. On 11 December they’ll take on The Tempest at the Cockpit Theatre, armed with only their own learned lines and immediate cues, exactly as it was done when London’s Tudor playhouses were built.

Our cue script work in the press:

This production ran 11 December 2016 – 15 January 2017
The Cockpit Theatre, Marylebone

Shakespeare’s players had no company rehearsal, as we understand it. They carried up to 40  roles in their heads, and were expected to perform them at sometimes only an hour’s notice. This level of pressure is familiar to the casts of today’s TV soaps, but 16th-century players would have no idea who else would be in their scene or what would be said to them. Audiences of the time relished the unpredictability on stage and paid extra to see the first performances of each play.

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The salon:collective has found this way of working leads to exhilarating and inspiring theatre in which the audience share the moments of realisation and discovery.

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‘...it captivated…The language came alive…Shakespeare that feels new and fresh…’ The Independent on Two Gentlemen of Verona

The voyage of discovery of The Tempest will continue between 10 and 15 January 2017, when the show returns to explore how Shakespeare’s players would have lived through the evolution of a piece after its electric first night. What new moments will be uncovered?

Director, dramaturg and actor Lizzie Conrad Hughes has the unique role of leading the company, preparing as an actor in the play and being the only one who knows the play in detail (much like Shakespeare himself who we believe also performed in his plays), but still only able to fully explore the text once the company embarks on the opening performance this December.

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'I'm excited by combining the wonderful controlled chaos of these two worlds'Lizzie Conrad Hughes

Lizzie has been guiding the salon:collective actors through cue script work since January 2014 alongside Dewi Hughes, head of voice at Drama Studio London. The salon players have also drawn on the methods of cue script pioneer Patrick Tucker and expert teacher Chris Pickles of Drama Studio London. They celebrated Shakespeare 400 with a cue script performance at Shakespeare’s own theatre, The Rose Playhouse.

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‘O brave new world,That has such people in't!’

Production images:

Meet the cast

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