The AWARD WINNING Lavinia In Souliloquy!

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We are super chuffed to announce we have another winner among our nominations for the British Council’s #ShakespeareLives Competition! We have a huge fondness of Lavinia and are so pleased she has been recognised. It was a really rewarding collaboration with puppet maker and puppeteer Joanna May.

DSC_0398Photo by Jennifer Hook.

Tilly wrote a a bit about the piece on her personal blog.

Titus Andronicus is a violent, bloody play where many people are mutilated and murdered. Lavinia is raped and then has her tongue cut out and her hands cut off so she cannot tell her father Titus of her assault. She eventually communicates it to him and in revenge he murders her attackers before killing his daughter out of shame.

Our Lavinia’s soul speaks to us directly – this voice cuts through the silence and her pain and shouts out at the injustice of her life and death. The use of puppetry in filming this souliloquy was important to give layers to how our Lavinia with no mouth or hands shares her story.

There is an important question for all puppetry work – why a puppet? I don’t think you could have a live person acting this work. Listening to it yes, a voice disembodied but an actual actor you see I think would detract from both the violence inflicted on the character and what she was reduced to. This little puppet shows us the depths of meaning of Lavinia’s words. So, listen.

Thank you again to everyone that voted, we have plans for Lavinia for 2017 so stay tuned for further adventures from this little poppet.

Meantime, enjoy a flashback to her celebrating Shakespeare’s 400th birthday!

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Last Chance to Vote for In Souliloquy videos in #ShakespeareLives

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Time is running out to vote for the souliloquies we have had nominated for the British Council’s #ShakespeareLives shorts competition. The videos videos are voted on by a team of judges and the general public – we would love you to register and vote for us*

Here is a link directly to the registration page: https://films.shakespearelives.org/registration/ – because itis a glitchy website it works better to register first and then watch and vote for our videos. You get one vote (four categories) per video – so please do vote for all our 5 nominated ones!

Here are the direct links to the videos.

Again rather than clicking on vote now it is a smoother process if you click on LOGIN on the menu at the top and register a new account.

This is such great exposure for our project and we have already had a nice little bump in views for the featured videos but we need more votes (lots of lovely round 10s please) to raise our average scores and get us shortlisted as winners. Public voting is always a difficult thing and the best way we can actually ensure we do well on this platform is for loads of people we know to give us a bit of love.

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We are so excited for you to revisit the ones you have already seen (watching them again is very rewarding people) or if you have yet to dive into this little project of ours these five videos are an excellent starting point.

Thank you!
Tilly and Victorine x

 

*It’s a little annoying to register using an email address as it apparently won’t work unless your password is exactly 8 characters total and has a capital letter, a number and another character (#$£%!). This feature is not explicitly stated on the website and it will just block you and say there is an error with the password. We suggest choosing a six letter word – capitalising the first letter and putting the symbol and number after ie. Juliet#5 – otherwise logging in through social media is apparently easier.

#ShakespeareLives Nominations – vote for us please!

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We have had five of our Souliloquies nominated for the British Council’s #ShakespeareLives Shakespeare Shorts Competition! Once nominated these videos are voted on by a team of judges and the general public – we would love you to register and vote for us*

You get one vote (four categories) per video – so please do vote for all our 5 nominated ones:

This is a a great platform for our project and we have already had a nice little bump in views for the featured videos but we need more votes (lots of lovely round 10s) to raise our average scores and get us shortlisted as winners.

Getting nominated and being a part of this competition is really exciting for us and a wonderful acknowledgement of these great performances.

Thank you!
Tilly and Victorine x

 

*It’s a little annoying to register using an email address as it apparently won’t work unless your password is exactly 8 characters total and has a capital letter, a number and another character (#$£%!). This feature is not explicitly stated on the website and it will just block you and say there is an error with the password. We suggest choosing a six letter word – capitalising the first letter and putting the symbol and number after ie. Juliet#5 – otherwise logging in through social media is apparently easier.

 

 

 

 

V&T’s Big Epic #ShakespeareSunday Souliloquy Celebration.

Today Tilly and Victorine answer “what’s your favourite part of each Souliloquy?” It goes without saying, each performance was so different, unexpected and brilliant, it’s hard to pick favourite things. However we’ve given it a good go. Here’s a chance for you to revisit ones you love and watch one’s you’ve missed.

All the Character Titles are links to the character portfolio.

Juliet

V: The calm, detached nature of Fern’s performance. It gives the heartbreak and tragedy a whole new, unspeakable level.

T: It’s always a treat when an actor surprises you. Fern just got Juliet in her own way and you feel so much for her. It’s quite a simple text, because of the character’s age but she brings such beautiful depth to that simplicity.

Lady Macbeth

T: We filmed Fran first and I cried. It was just such a rush to see and hear those words come alive in her character – she gives a gift of a performance. It’s perfection.

V: The tear. That was such a genuine and beautiful moment – to capture that was an incredible first day/first Souliloquy gift.

V&T: Also this:
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The Fool

V: Michael’s sing-songy bit. It was so significant of his whole Fool – such a cheeky, playful character yet biting and cynical.

T: I love the song in this one. Michael’s voice is often singing it in my head now – it’s such a perfect capture of both the humour and the darkness of the character.

Lavinia

V: The delicateness of Joanna & Egg’s movement. Simplicity and beauty to contrast the harshness and violence of the words.

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T: I don’t think you can perform this piece visually without a puppet. It needs that layering and I love Jo’s performance and Little Egg so much. It’s captivating.

Helena

T: The lovely earnestness that Christine brought to this is super endearing. Can’t you just imagine Helena being exactly like that? I want to hug her and reassure her it’s ok.  

V: Christine’s performance really influenced the edit on this one – so different from what I had planned, it gave me a whole new perspective! I love when actors make you think like that!

Margaret of Anjou

V: Rewriting and doing it on camera vs. stage. It really shifted the performance and the things I found in the text, which is always incredibly rewarding.

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T: Victorine is Margaret. Watching her inhabit these words is a real privilege, it was very special being in the room and witnessing her performance.

Emilia

V: The raw emotion. I have always admired Shannon’s ability to strip herself down and just go with what she is given.

T: Shannon’s heart is beating with Emilia during this performance and you are right there with her sharing in the anguish. We break as she does. After what has happened, it was never going to be ok.

Miranda

T: Casting Tessa was just perfect for this one. Her voice is so lyrical and her eyes so bright – she really brings out the depth of the character beyond a superficial happy ending. It’s magic.

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V: Tessa’s voice! Such an enchanting and mesmerizing quality. And those eyes! I’m on that island every time with her.

Yorick

V: The way John just jumped in and navigated the text so skillfully! Talk about switching gears…. He grabs you and drags you down into his World and you love him for it.

T: I love John’s performance so much. Yorick is character we had to build from nothing and he continued that process – he pops out of the screen in such an engaging way.

Richard III

T: Richard III is such a well known character that it took something special to make it new – which it is. The balance of righteousness and grief is tricky but is nailed. Great pacing to a great performance.

V: The fact that our incredible Richard came in with so many ideas and willing to play around with styles and shots, it was really about me throwing away my character preconceptions and plans!

The Soothsayer

V: Chris’ crazy. His intensity and crazy Soothsayer eyes. Never lets you off the hook!

T: The intensity that Chris brings to this role is so good and it was lovely to work with an actor that really engaged with the words. It’s dark in a way that fits so well with the character sits beautifully alongside the source text.

Viola

T: Viola was challenging to capture on the page but Peyvand brought her to life in with a softness that really lights up the screen. This one is so moving and beautiful, in spite of a lighter subject.

V: One of the first filmed at Tilly’s and it made us all a bit more relaxed I think, and that gave Peyvand’s Viola ease and simplicity (and wispy hair), which literally took my breath away!

Cleopatra

T: I love how visual this one is. Neil’s face – especially the ‘lined eyes’ which are captivating and the whole thing is shot like a painting. It’s a lovely piece of art.

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V: The edit. I wanted to do Neil & Cleo justice, and I knew it was going to be a long and complex edit unlike anything we’d done. I wanted a story within the story to really showcase the words and Neil’s transformation!

Titania

V: Eliza’s hair. Just kidding. The fun we had making it I think – Eliza just jumped straight in, and again it really infused the atmosphere of the piece and lent it that air of a midsummer night dream…

T: Eliza was a joy to work with – she just brought so much to the character and clearly relished the text. You can see it in her performance, it’s also a joy to watch!

Ophelia

T: Lillian brings such honesty to this role and that is so much a part of Ophelia’s character she is her. Her eyes confronting you and all your assumptions about her death and beauty. It’s such a strong statement, I love it.   

V: Lily’s take on Ophelia. So unexpected and unguarded, cynical and fierce.

Tybalt

V: Owen is another one of those actors that is just incredible simple and honest. It worked so well to create a Tybalt unlike any we’d ever seen. Heartbreaking.

T: Oh Tybalt! It’s so great how Owen captures the dawning comprehension of what he has lost and that while he might not be at fault the way he lived enabled the way he died. Such a waste of life. It’s really sad. 

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Abhorsen

T: There’s a creeping quietness to Richard’s performance that is very sinister. This man lives like no other and knows death like no other – this considered starkness really works in black and white.

V: Richard’s quiet and disquieting threatening performance. Again, it’s nothing you expect, and that’s what makes it interesting.  

Katherina

V: I think Annie is Kate. She had that energy and fight to her, without ever forgetting the love. And her voice is so melodious.

T: Our Kate is very determined and Annie brought such a lovely underlying strength to this performance. She might love him yet, but she’ll do so on her terms. It’s a real pleasure watching the character unfold. Great accent too!

Orlando

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T: Kaiden really embraced the poetry of Victorine’s writing with this one – it’s so lovely and moving the way he tells his story and isn’t afraid to acknowledge how his experience has changed him for the better.

V: Kaiden’s melange of playfulness and quiet introspection. I’ve never let anyone perform my writing before, so it was a big moment to see him do so with such grace and honesty.

Cassandra

T: The darkness of this one is complex and builds. Julia looks so fragile and yet Cassandra is fully embracing her bloody end. It’s a nice dramatic dynamic that really works.

V: The tone. We worked so hard to get it just right, and I think it payed off. Beautiful Julia, threatening words, and a very dark melancholic vibe.

Doll Tearsheet

V: The corset! I jest. But actually, I think it informed Annie’s performance and helped her find more layers to Doll. Softness and seductiveness all meshed together perfectly.

T: Annie brings a nice vulnerability to Doll – it’s an intimate and layered performance. She’s kind of playing the space between ‘I’m fine, get lost’ and ‘please help me’ – it’s a tightrope and she dances beautifully along it.

Lady Macduff

T: A wonderful complete performance here by Tracey. Lady Macduff guides you through every corner of her grief and anger – it’s a record of the unrecorded and a defiant interpretation. She is continually heart breaking in so many different ways.

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V: Tracey was another who came in with so many ideas – I loved that so much! I just said “F**k it” to my plans, and went along for the gut-wrenching ride with her.

Marina (to be released 22nd Aug)

V: I think Marina represents a lot of our whole In Souliloquy journey. There is such simple beauty in this once again – Lydia is a gorgeous storyteller. And no she hasn’t made me cry. Repeatedly.

T: Beautiful. Lydia brought so much to this character, there is such steel in her performance and such power in her delivery of Marina. It’s just means so much – and makes me cry for good reasons! I want to grow up and be Marina.

Don John (to be released 23rd Aug)

T: John nailed Don John and you just believe in his contempt for others, but you also know where that has come from so you root for him. I love how engaged he is, you are going to listen to what he has to say – now he wants to say it.

V: John’s eyes! He is so captivating and inviting – my kind of villain! His focus never relents, it’s amazing.

Thank you to all our wonderful performers. It’s been a true pleasure to have you along for this journey. Love V&T x

 

Lavinia In Souliloquy.

Lavinia In Souliloquy from In Souliloquy on Vimeo.

We owe our ears to the story of she who can’t speak.

Performed by Joanna May
Puppet Design and Build by Joanna May
Written by Tilly Lunken
Directed by Victorine Pontillon
After William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus

Special thanks to Jenny Dee and Jennifer Hook.

In Souliloquy is devised and produced by Victorine Pontillon and Tilly Lunken.
Lavinia In Souliloquy is part of our first cycle.

@insouliloquy on twitter

Listen on Soundcloud!

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Behind the scenes photos by Jennifer Hook.

In Souliloquy – Cycle 1.

Our first cycle of In Souliloquy is a collection that includes characters from A Midsummer Night’s DreamTitus AndronicusRomeo and Juliet, MacbethKing Lear and Henry VI. The six souliloques redress misunderstandings, challenge our preconceptions and give a voice to the souls of Shakespeare’s people.

 

helena

Helena believes in the truth of her love. She has to.

  • Performed by Christine Leigh Milburn 
  • Written by Tilly Lunken 
  • Directed by Victorine Pontillon

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Lavinia

We owe our ears to the story of she who can’t speak.

  • Performed by Joanna May
  • Puppet Design and Build by Joanna May
  • Written by Tilly Lunken
  • Directed by Victorine Pontillon

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juliet

Juliet knows eternal love is misplaced in eternity.

  • Performed by Fern McCauley
  • Written by Tilly Lunken
  • Directed by Victorine Pontillon

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ladym

The Lady rises to face her history and how it is remembered.

  • Performed by Francesca Burgoyne
  • Written by Tilly Lunken
  • Directed by Victorine Pontillon

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fool

No one but a fool cares for the fate of a Fool.

  • Performed by Michael Bagwell
  • Written by Tilly Lunken
  • Directed by Victorine Pontillon

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margaret

Don’t expect a Queen who started a war to sleep easy.

  • Performed by Victorine Pontillon
  • Written by Victorine Pontillon
  • Directed by Victorine Pontillon

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We film on 23rd April – the big #Shakespeare400 anniversary and release throughout the following week!

 

Introducing: Joanna May as Lavinia.

We are thrilled to annuounce Joanna May will be playing Lavinia for the first cycle of In Souliloquy

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Joanna is currently training as a puppeteer at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She is originally from Brighton where she trained in Acting and Theatre Making. She has performed in Brighton Festival and Fringe, directing a devised family performance of ‘The Little Prince’ in the 2014 Fringe. Since then she has been pursuing puppetry and puppet making for theatre and is very excited to be exploring the combination of puppetry with Shakespeare for #Shakespeare400 and In Souliloquy.

Joanna is both maker and performer for this piece. She is playing a Lavinia steeped in sadness but determined to be heard in her own voice.