With the end of the season just around the corner, we asked a few of the Company members to share their favourite moments from their summer at Bard. This week Todd Thomson (Laertes, Hamlet / Orsino, Twelfth Night) reveals his fear of not being able to pull off a convincing fight scene without getting skewered in the process!
“My favourite moment of the season has been the sword fight with Jon Young at the end of Hamlet. We worked very meticulously throughout rehearsals with our two fight choreographers, Nic Harrison and Dave McCormick, to craft a fight that not only told the story of the character’s journey within the fight, but also to make it look like we knew what we were doing and hopefully offer some entertainment to audiences along the way. The process of blocking the fight, particularly in its early stages, was a frustrating experience for me; I forgot blocking, forgot safety, my rapier and dagger moved at a snail’s pace and my footwork was more akin to an elephant than a seasoned fighter.
However, as I had performed many fights in the past with Bard (none however as long or containing as many moves as this particular fight), I continued to work hard and trust the meticulous process we were engaged in. For me, right up until our first preview I continued to wonder if what we had was any good and I hoped and prayed to the “Fight Gods” that I remembered all the moves. After our first preview I remember thinking to myself, “we did it”! We actually got through the fight and no one got skewered by a flying blade. That feeling continues to come back to me after every fight. I literally say to myself, “we got through it again and it wasn’t half bad.” I am proud of the fight, its precision and economy – and gratefully, now that we’ve performed the fight many times – the comfort level we are finding within the fight.”
Stay tuned over the next couple of weeks to find out the thing that made Twelfth Night director, Dennis Garnhum so proud, and how Barbara Pollard failed to gain sympathy from some of the male actors this year!
[Header image: Todd Thomson and Robert Olguin in Twelfth Night. Photo Credit: David Blue]