This weekend we began work in earnest on Macbeth for Shakespeare at Sloss. I'm playing one of the third banana roles (A guy named Caithness) and it turns out the director took all the third bananas' lines, cut a bunch and redistributed the rest. After I researched the historical basis for my character, too! I now have pretty much none of my original lines, but the big dramatic wounded-messenger opening speech about how Macbeth's winning the war? I get that part. It's going to be interactive with the audience, which is to say I'm gonna vomit blood on the VIP tables' wine and cheese.
Interpreting Shakespeare is a bit of a challenge. We're not used to following this kind of complicated and compressed verbal rhetoric the way folks were in The Bard's day; I for one can hardly make sense out of the verbiage when I watch or listen to Shakespeare, so I'm thinking hard about how to punch the lines so my meaning's crystal-clear to the audience. My character is saucy and salty, so that'll be fun and keep it from being an applied academic exercise.