Re-Learning Lines

Ah, line learning. The one thing non-actors always say after a show is “How do you remember all those lines?” There’s not really a trick to it – if there was I could save a lot of time! Its just repetition, repetition, repetition. As a friend I was doing a play with a year or so ago reminded me, when I said how glad I was we didn’t have to revise for exams when studying “What do you think learning lines is?”

Re-learning lines is slightly different, as it ideally, shouldn’t take as long. Audition monologues in particular tend to stick – whether that’s a good thing, as you may lose the freshness of them – is another issue.  So ideally, this process shouldn’t take to long. I had my first sit down today to look at my big monologue that starts the second half – this part of the play is based on Austen’s “Three Sisters” and I play Mary Stanhope. The monologue is lifted from a letter so it works well on stage and as a nice opener to the second act(Hats off to Isabel Snowden, who edited the script)

Anyway, so back to lines. So far, so good! Its interesting learning something that wasn’t written to be spoken aloud, as the rhythm is slightly different. Shakespeare – while it has the difficulty of an older form of English – the iambic pentameter means I find it quite simple. Jane Austen’s language – not so much. I’ve mentioned on an earlier blog about how the punctuation has caused an issue. I am still getting my head around it, but second time around, its coming easier! 

Anyone else have experience performing Austen? Would love to hear about it if you have!

Phoebe 🙂


Jane Austen and Punctuation

I love Jane Austen. And of course she is an amazingly talented writer and – as described on the flyer for our production – a creative genius.

However, punctuation was not really her thing. Both during our first read through of the script and when I was trying to learn the lines it caused quite a stumbling block. It took quite a few rereads and lots of scribbles to figure out how to say some of the sentences in a way that made sense!

I don’t have any more to say on this subject now – just a little thought I had while working on the script for “An Evening at Home with the Austens” 🙂

Phoebe x