Ugly Lies the Bone
, A Winter’s Tale
. These are a few of the plays that Kate Fleetwood has graced the London stage with. She has shaped the acting world with her emotional and accurate portrayal of these characters, and I was lucky enough to attend her Masterclass on the 12 July. Not being able to hide behind a role, she stepped on stage with a relatable shyness but quickly grew in confidence. The 1½ hours in which she shared her knowledge with us, gave a sense of her eye for detail and devotion to the craft.
She started the afternoon with a quick hello and not long after dived into workshopping monologues that were performed by three fellow Masterclass members. Edmund’s monologue in Shakespeare’s King Lear
as well as a monologue from Dennis Kelly’s Orphans
. Her focus lay on targets and relevance and she highlighted the importance of each monologue by setting them in a contemporary context. A courtroom, a video gaming session with friends, a political rally. Kate shed a light on the importance of knowing what effect a monologue should have - what its main purpose is. She made it clear as day to me that by making it contemporary, making it relevant in this day and age, making it relatable in today’s world, monologues grow. The stakes are higher, their meaning easier to identify. Antithesis – Kate’s second focus point. If one thing means this for the character, what impact will the opposite have? She analysed this by taking a closer look at the antitheses in the monologues. Grace / revenge; restraint / strike… what does it mean for the character, for the story, if the pull is more towards one or the other?
A Q&A followed the workshop in which we got to know Kate as a sophisticated actress in love with her profession. She touched upon the topics of line-learning, audition frights and what it takes to find a character. Kate’s last anecdote pointed towards the importance of playfulness - It is not called a play for no reason! She made sure to assure us that trying things out and being relaxed and open to the space, things will develop. We will discover new paths and we will enjoy the process. Anything is possible on the stage and Kate showed in her masterclass that hard work and devotion enable an actor to portray the most interesting and diverse characters.
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If you'd like to write about a future masterclass, please email Ellen@masterclass.org.uk
for more information.