This spring, following the Covid 19 lockdown, Imaginarium actors past and present were invited to participate in an online Shakespeare film project exploring monologues and presenting them in domestic or lockdown settings; whether that be in the garden, walking the dog, on a shopping trip, cooking dinner, cleaning the house, home-working on zoom, or relaxing in the bathtub.

Actors were invited to participate in an 8 weeks of text and voice workshops with Royal Shakespeare Company Associate Director Michael Corbidge and Imaginarium Artistic Director Gaynor La Rocca to explore their chosen texts.

 

Tripods and microphones were dropped on doorsteps and actors recorded themselves performing their monologues. We provided online feedback and direction and the final films are presented here.

 

We are grateful to have received crisis funding from Arts Council England and Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council which made this project possible.

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Holly Blue - Bathtub Shakespeare
03:03

Holly Blue - Bathtub Shakespeare

Cordelia - King Lear, Act 1, Scene 1 Modern Title: “The Press Conference” Context After being threatened with disinheritance unless she competes for her father's affection, Cordelia takes a stand in a public broadcast to the nation. Bio With a background in dance, circus and fire performance, Holly has performed with variety entertainment companies at festivals, corporate and private events across the UK, all while working full-time as a marketing and communications professional for a science organisation – quite the contrast! Holly joined Imaginarium Theatre during The Tempest (2017), after befriending another cast member in a ballet class. Since then, her fire performance skills have become a regular feature in the company’s productions and she performed her first ever speaking role – in a Russian accent no less – in Treasure Island, which went to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2018. She went on to live something of a childhood dream as a fiery faerie princess in Imaginarium Theatre’s devised walkabout production Willo the Wisp and the Fire Sprite (2018). Most recently, she played Benvolio in Romeo & Juliet (2019), and enjoyed having the opportunity to reinterpret a role traditionally cast as a man and explore the dynamics of mixed-gender friendship groups which echoed her own teenage years. In 2020, Holly began leading community circus and fire skills workshops for Imaginarium Theatre, and hopes to help people of all abilities develop their movement skills and enable them to perform at local events in the future. In her spare time, Holly is a keen writer and also enjoys documenting her day-to-day life through films and vlogs. She often participates in the Imaginarium Writers Collective, and recently led a community visual poetry project titled The Seven Ages of Care.
Kevin Thomas - Bathtub Shakespeare
01:25

Kevin Thomas - Bathtub Shakespeare

Oberon - A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act 2, Scene 1 Context Oberon's belief that Titania is showing too much affection for Theseus has enlisted Puck to find a flower that will make Titania fall in love with the first thing she sees after waking. This section details how he will dispense the flower and thus achieve his aim. Set in a garden watering plants. Bio Kevin has been involved in drama as an actor off and on for nearly 25 years. During this time he has appeared in a wide variety of theatre productions ranging from Pantomime to Contemporary, fringe theatre. He has also explored Modern, Period, Classical and a touch of Renaissance. His Shakespeare credits are Caliban/Gonzalo- The Tempest, Lord Montague- Romeo and Juliet, Sir Toby Belch- Twelfth Night, Edward IV/Lord Stanley- Richard III and a production called Strolling Shakespeare where he performed extracts from Macbeth and The Merry Wives of Windsor as Macbeth and Falstaff. Other possible highlights of his stage performances are Jacob Marley/Bob Cratchit, Candy in Of Mice and Men, Mr.Birling in An Inspector Calls Hunter/Sawkins/Didlum in The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist and Vladimir in Waiting for Godot, this production he also directed and produced. In addition to stage performances Kevin has appeared in some small scale television and film roles and is currently enrolled in the ActUpNorth Liverpool branch. He is a qualified nurse graduating in 2003 and now works on what is named the Bank which is a system which allows flexibility on his working hours. He also graduated in a Trinity and Guildhall School of Music and Drama Acting Certificate in 2006 as part of their Open University opportunities. Aside from acting Kevin enjoys cycling, reading and watching films. He is excited and thankful to be involved with Bathtub Shakespeare and its concurrent Lather Up with Michael Corbidge project. Kevin is keen to learn and explore Shakespeare in both performance and theory.
Conor Burns - Bathtub Shakespeare
01:07

Conor Burns - Bathtub Shakespeare

Macduff - Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 7 Modern Title: “Let Me Find Him” Context Macduff searches for Macbeth, the political opponent who arranged for the murder of his family in order to disrupt his political campaign. Haunted by the ghosts of his wife and children, Macduff swears to avenge them at any cost. Bio Growing up in Northern Ireland, Conor caught the theatre bug from his grandfather, who was an actor in local theatre and had a passion for ballroom dancing. Since moving to Liverpool, Conor has gained a Masters in Film Studies and began working as a Camera Trainee, and balances his professional ambitions behind the camera with his love of acting, using his spare time to perform with various theatre companies in the region. He first performed Shakespeare with Imaginarium Theatre in 2015 as part of the outdoor tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. One of Conor’s most memorable acting experiences was performing in two plays simultaneously at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018, one of which was Imaginarium Theatre’s Treasure Island, where he took the role of the villainous Israel Hands. It was one of the most exciting, rewarding and exhausting weeks of his life! More recently, Conor took the title role in the company’s magical woodland walkabout production Willo the Wisp & the Fire Sprite (2018) and played Tybalt in Romeo & Juliet (2019). His favourite and most challenging role to date was John Proctor in The Crucible, as he enjoys exploring dark, complex or emotionally conflicted characters.
Carmel Skelly - Bathtub Shakespeare
03:18

Carmel Skelly - Bathtub Shakespeare

Bio I have been with imaginarium, formerly MATE for 20 years. I’d always wanted to try my hand at acting so when an advert appeared in the local paper about joining a community drama group I went along. I’ve appeared in numerous plays and if I had to pick favourites it’d be Titania in ‘A Midsummer Nights Dream’ and The Nurse in ‘Romeo And Juliet’. We’ve performed in local theatres; The Edinburgh Festival; Stratford Upon Avon, and outdoors in local parks and gardens in Merseyside. Imaginarium is very much a part of the community and brings people from all walks of life together. As well as being an actor I am involved with making props; and planning behind the scenes. I am a civil servant by day, and have a very busy home life so I perform for the pure passion and enjoyment. For me it’s an escape to many different worlds. It’s a challenge balancing it all but it’s so rewarding. I’ve found my confidence has grown too which has helped with work presentations. I’ve suffered some traumatic experiences, and Imaginarium has helped me lift myself back up and been a therapeutic distraction. We have had professional practitioners in to teach us dance and fight sequences; singing; drumming; sewing and making props. We have also had a practitioner from The RSC, Michael Corbidge, give us sessions on all things Shakespeare. All these opportunities have been made available by our fantastic director Gaynor La Rocca. I have worked very closely with her in all the above and have thoroughly enjoyed the past 20 years. It’s been an amazing experience of fun, enjoyment, knowledge, learning and lifetime friendships. It has enriched my life more than words can say and I couldn’t imagine my life without it.
Tom Large - Bathtub Shakespeare
01:52

Tom Large - Bathtub Shakespeare

Touchstone - As You Like It, Act 5, Scene 1 Modern Title: “As You ‘Zoom’ It” Context Touchstone threatens to kill William over his love interest in Audrey. Set as a Zoom meeting between Touchstone, Audrey and William in which Tom plays all the parts. Bio Tom’s acting career began aged 6 playing Dopey in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, however it would be almost another 50 years before he was to tread the boards again. His association with Imaginarium/MATE started after watching their wonderful performance of A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream in his home town of Prescot. Enthralled by the performance, he wanted to be more involved in what they did and it was not long before he was in the cast of Mother Goose around Easter time playing the Baker with a tray of tasty hot cross buns. The acting bug had then bitten him and that summer he appeared in their second Shakespeare production, As You Like It, playing no less than 3 characters. The outdoor tour of this production culminated with a performance in the Bard’s home town of Stratford-upon-Avon at the RSC Dell. A very proud moment for Tom. There then followed a couple of walkabout performances of A Fool’s Tale and Jungle Book, the lead role as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol (seven performances in one day) and appearances in pop-up versions of Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet. The next summer outdoor tour saw Tom playing Stephano in The Tempest including his proudest moment of being applauded by a 500+ RSC audience at Stratford’s The Dell. The following year he appeared in Treasure Island playing two characters, Billy Bones and George Merry. This production included indoor performances at the Unity Theatre, Liverpool, an outdoor tour across Merseyside and finishing off with a week performing at the Edinburgh Festival. Another very proud moment for Tom. Tom has very much loved his time acting and performing and his only regret is that he wishes he’d resurrected his acting career a lot sooner after leaving primary school. He really looks forward to getting on the stage again in Imaginarium’s next exciting production, whenever that might be.